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Pleural Mesothelioma (Pleural Cancer)

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Specialists in Pleural mesothelioma

Information About the Field of Pleural mesothelioma

What Is Pleural Mesothelioma?

Pleural mesothelioma is defined as a malignant tumor of the pleura, which lines the inside of the chest, surrounds the lungs, and consists of a thin layer of special mesothelial cells. Malignant changes in these mesothelial cells are causative of pleural mesothelium.

Causes and Symptoms

By far, the most common cause of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos. This highly harmful mineral fiber was used in the past, for example, to dampproof houses or in industry, but has been banned for many years. Thus, unconscious inhalation of asbestos underlies more than half of all patients. In rare cases, workers may still be exposed to asbestos when demolishing old buildings, but strict regulations prevent this scenario. However, mesothelioma appears in affected patients only after a latency of decades, so this disease is due to the previous use of the toxic material. Other causes may be viral infections or radioactive radiation, and genetic predisposition may also play a role.

Typical symptoms include difficulty breathing, an irritable cough, chest pain, fatigue, and weight loss.

How is Pleural Mesothelioma Treated?

Treatment of this type of cancer is complicated because the malignant cell changes spread diffusely over the entire surface of the pleura and metastasize (spread to other organs).

Nevertheless, therapy options must be individually adapted to the respective patient, i.e., to his cancer stage and other circumstances.

A distinction is made between curative therapy, which aims to cure cancer and prolong life expectancy, and palliative therapy, primarily to alleviate symptoms.

To initiate curative therapy, the benefits for the patient and the health consequences and risks of the therapy must always be carefully weighed first. The curative approach can be considered especially for younger, healthier patients in earlier stages, usually combining surgical measures with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to increase the chances of success. This aggressive treatment approach results in massive burdens for the patient on the one hand but holds out the prospect of improved life expectancy on the other.

If, however, the benefits of such therapy do not outweigh the associated consequences and burdens for the patient, palliative therapy can be pursued in agreement with the patient. Here, the focus is mainly on the so-called pleurodesis, in which the two layers of the pleura are surgically glued together to prevent fluid accumulation in the so-called pleural space. Although this does not cure the disease, breathing difficulties improve considerably, and patients cope better with their daily routine.

Prognosis and Chances of Cure

Since symptoms often appear later in the disease, cancer often remains undetected for a long time. It can spread both over larger areas of the pleura and to other organs (metastases).

In most cases, this leads to an unfavorable prognosis with low chances of cure. Nevertheless, all curative therapeutic measures should be weighed and exhausted to achieve the best possible chances of cure. In palliative therapy, all options for pain relief and symptomatic treatment should be consistently carried out.

Which Doctors and Clinics are Specialized in Pleural Mesothelioma?

Every patient who needs a doctor wants the best medical care. Therefore, the patient is wondering where to find the best clinic. As this question cannot be answered objectively and a reliable doctor would never claim to be the best, we can only rely on the doctor's experience.

We will help you find an expert for your condition. All listed doctors and clinics have been reviewed by us for their outstanding specialization in pleural mesothelioma and are awaiting your inquiry or request for treatment.