What is mesothelioma, and how does it occur? It’s an all-too-common question, with innumerable answers that may lead to even more questions. The human body is a complex and vulnerable system which can be affected by everything from genetics to our environment. At the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Information Exchange, we try to shed some light on these questions in order to better inform you.
Cancer can occur as a result of impairment of the DNA in human cells. Our bodies are made up an untold number of living cells, from receptor and blood cells to hair cells. Different cells perform different functions in the human body and the majority of cells have DNA. Human cells naturally produce, repair, grow, multiply and die, where new cells take the place of dying ones. With cancer, the altered or impaired DNA and cell do not expire; instead, they continue to multiply with new cells also containing the altered and impaired DNA. While researchers know that some cancer is a result of hereditary or environmental causes, in other cases, the cause isn’t always clear. Furthermore, different types of cancers operate differently. Some cancers may spread, while others do not. The technical name for the spread of cancer to other parts of the human body is metastasis.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer, which, is a result of impaired cells called mesothelium cells. These mesothelium cells act and behave somewhat like oil in a car, lubricating various body cavities, particularly the thoracic cavity surrounding the lungs. The cancer, as a result of damage to these cells, may result from exposure to asbestos particles. Sometimes, symptoms of the cancer do not appear until decades after exposure. This cancer is often discovered via chest x-ray, CT Scan or biopsy. Mesothelioma treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.