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What Is Mesothelioma (Lung Membrane Cancer)? Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Mesothelioma, also known as pleural cancer, is a rare and serious form of cancer that is often diagnosed late. This disease starts in the mesothelium cells, the thin membrane layer that covers the outer surface of some organs in the body, especially the lungs. Since mesothelioma is a type of cancer that progresses insidiously and symptoms appear over time, early diagnosis and effective treatment methods are of great importance. In this article we have written for you, we will try to give information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods of mesothelioma.

What Is Pleural Cancer (Mesothelioma)?

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor originating from the cells of serous membranes in the body. This disease, also known as pleural cancer, most often begins in the membrane layer called the pleura, which covers the outer surface of the lungs. However, mesothelioma can also occur in other serous membranes such as the peritoneum, pericardium, and tunica vaginalis testis. Mesothelioma is divided into three types according to cell type: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and bicomponent. This type of cancer is usually more common in older ages and in men.

What Are The Causes of Pleural Cancer (Mesothelioma)?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs mainly as a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a natural mineral and has been widely used in areas such as construction, insulation, and the automotive industry because it is resistant to heat and chemicals. Inhalation of asbestos fibers leads to damage to mesothelium cells and the formation of cancerous cells. Mesothelioma can develop years after asbestos exposure, even after 20-40 years. Smoking and genetic predisposition are among other factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma.

What Are The Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma symptoms are usually vague and mild in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms become more prominent as the disease progresses and the tumor grows. The most common symptoms of pleural cancer are;

  • Chest pain and back pain,
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing,
  • Cough and bloody sputum,
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite,
  • Fatigue and weakness,
  • Fever and night sweats,
  • Pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid between the pleura),

Since the symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to those of other lung diseases, doctors carry out a thorough evaluation for a correct diagnosis. This evaluation includes a physical examination, imaging tests (X-ray, CT, MRI), and a biopsy. Mesothelioma diagnosed early can be managed more successfully with treatment methods such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Who Can Get Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of thin cell membranes, especially in the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). Rarely, it can also be seen in the pericardium (pericardium) and testicular membrane (tunica vaginalis). Although mesothelioma usually occurs between the ages of 50-70, it can be seen in any age group. It is more common in men than in women.

Mesothelioma is primarily associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral resistant to heat and chemicals and has been widely used in the past in areas such as construction, shipbuilding, the automotive industry, and insulation materials. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to the development of cancer in the long term by lodging these fibers in the lungs.

Apart from asbestos exposure, other risk factors such as radiation therapy, genetic factors, and viral infections may also play a role in the development of mesothelioma. In addition, family members of people who work with asbestos may also be indirectly exposed to asbestos through their work clothes and belongings, which may increase the risk of mesothelioma.

How Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is diagnosed based on patient complaints, physical examination, medical history, and various diagnostic tests. Patients usually present with symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, weight loss, and abdominal swelling. The doctor may order appropriate diagnostic tests by evaluating the patient’s history of asbestos exposure and other risk factors.

Radiological examinations (chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) are the first methods used in patients with suspected mesothelioma. These imaging methods help to determine the location, size, and spread of the tumor.

For a definitive diagnosis, a biopsy is required. A biopsy is a process of examining the tissue sample taken from the tumor under a microscope. Biopsy methods include fine needle aspiration, surgical biopsy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).

How Is Mesothelioma Treated?

Mesothelioma treatment is determined depending on the patient’s age, general health condition, stage, type, and spread of the tumor. Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Surgical treatment is preferred if the tumor is at an early stage and has not spread to other organs. Surgical methods include the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissues (pleurectomy), complete removal of the lung (pneumonectomy), and removal of the pleura and peritoneal membrane (extriplectomy).

Radiotherapy is used to destroy or shrink tumor cells before or after surgery. Radiotherapy can also help improve the patient’s quality of life by slowing the growth of the tumor.

Chemotherapy is a treatment with drugs that prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given before or after surgical treatment and can sometimes be used in combination with radiotherapy.

Immunotherapy strengthens the immune system to fight against cancer cells. Immunotherapy, which is a new approach to mesothelioma treatment, can be used especially in patients who do not respond to other treatment methods or in advanced-stage patients.

In the treatment of mesothelioma, a multidisciplinary approach is adopted and the most appropriate treatment plan is determined by the joint decision of the surgeon, oncologist, radiologist and other health professionals

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that occurs especially in the lining of the lung and is often associated with asbestos exposure. The life expectancy of this disease varies depending on whether the diagnosis is made at an early stage, the patient’s general health status, age, and treatment options. In general, however, mesothelioma survival is considered low and ranges from 1 to 2 years for the vast majority of patients.

Patients with mesothelioma who are diagnosed early may have a longer life expectancy. This is due to the fact that it allows more time to prevent the spread of the disease and to use more effective treatment options. Of patients diagnosed at an early stage, 75 percent survive the first year, and 35-45 percent survive two years. However, a life expectancy of five years or more is very rare and covers only 5-10 percent.

Other factors affecting the life expectancy of mesothelioma are as follows;

  • Age of the patient,
  • General health status of the patient,
  • Type and stage of cancer,
  • Treatment options,

Mesothelioma life expectancy can vary greatly depending on the patient’s specific condition and response to treatment. Therefore, it is important for patients to be in constant communication with their doctors and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

What Are The Stages of Pleural Cancer?

Pleural cancer, or mesothelioma, is divided into four stages. Each stage helps determine how far the cancer has spread and treatment options. The stages of pleural cancer are as follows;

Stage 1; At this stage, the cancer is found only in the lining of the lung and perhaps in the diaphragm. There is no spread or spread to the lymph nodes. Stage 1 mesothelioma can be treated with surgery and offers a better life expectancy.

Stage 2; In addition to the pleura and diaphragm, the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. Surgical intervention may still be possible, but treatment becomes more difficult and life expectancy is usually shortened.

Stage 3; In this stage, cancer has spread to nearby tissues such as the pleura, diaphragm, lymph nodes, and chest wall. Surgical intervention becomes more difficult and other treatment options such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy are usually used. Life expectancy is further shortened.

Stage 4; cancer has spread to areas distant from the lung membrane and chest cavity. At this stage, the cancer is usually incurable and life expectancy can be quite short. Treatment options are aimed at improving the patient’s quality of life and relieving symptoms.

Knowledge about pleural cancer stages, treatment options, and life expectancy can help patients and their families better understand the disease and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Mesothelioma Treatment Prices in Turkey

Turkey has managed to announce its name to the world with its investments and studies in the field of health. Especially the latest technological devices used in diagnosis and treatment procedures have been a beacon of hope for many diseases. However, there has been an increase in health tourism in Türkiye.

  • Hospitals are large, clean, spacious and fully equipped in terms of technological equipment.
  • Turkish doctors are specialized, successful, and skilled in their fields.
  • Nurses and carers are friendly and compassionate.
  • Finding answers to the questions asked quickly and accurately.
  • Patience and understanding of all staff, including the intermediary company dealing with the patient.
  • Turkey offers holiday opportunities with its natural and historical beauties.
  • Easy transportation.
  • Diagnosis, treatment, accommodation, eating, drinking, dressing, and holiday needs can be met at affordable prices.

Such situations are shown among the reasons for preference. We can see that patients and relatives of patients who want to come to Turkey are doing research on Mesothelioma Treatment Prices in Turkey. However, it would not be correct to give a clear price information at this stage. Many factors such as the type of disease, stage, diagnosis process, treatment process, and stay in Türkiye affect the price issue. If you want to get more detailed price information, you can contact us. In addition, if you come to Turkey for treatment through us, we can facilitate your visa application process with the invitation letter sent by us to the consulate.

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