Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the tissue surrounding the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral found in many industrial and construction materials. Although it is a rare form of cancer, the complex pathology of pleural mesothelioma has made it a difficult disease to diagnose and treat.
The pathology of pleural mesothelioma is complex and slowly evolving. It begins with an initial exposure to asbestos fibers, which then become lodged in the protective lining of the lungs called the pleura. Over time, these fibers cause inflammation and the formation of scar tissue in the pleura. As the scar tissue builds up, it thickens and begins to press against the lungs, leading to pain and difficulty breathing.
If untreated, the scar tissue can eventually form tumors in the pleura. These tumors are malignant and spread quickly, invading other organs and tissues. As the tumors grow, they can cause fluid buildup in the chest cavity, leading to pleural effusion. This fluid can also contain cancer cells, which can spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
The treatment of pleural mesothelioma is complex and usually involves a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The goal of treatment is to remove the tumors and reduce the fluid buildup in the chest. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended, while in others, a single treatment may be sufficient.
Pleural mesothelioma is a complex and challenging disease, but with proper treatment, it can be managed. It is important to understand the pathology of the disease and work with your doctor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. With the right care, you can reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.