Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma by far and accounts for 75% of all cases of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the respiratory areas of the body like the lungs. More specifically, cancer attacks the lining of the lungs and the ribs, the pleura hence the name pleural mesothelioma. The main cause of pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Only a few months after being exposed to lethal dust and unprotected asbestos fibers can lead to pleural mesothelioma thirty to fifty years later. Men aged 60 to 70 years are the most at risk for asbestos because it was the generation that worked with asbestos with little protection against dust and fibers. Due to the long latency period of pleural mesothelioma (30-50 years), these men only discover that they have lethal cancer. Currently, many of these men are housing million dollar suits against companies that exposed them to asbestos. Asbestos fibers penetrate the lining of the lungs by inhalation and lodge inside the lungs.The symptoms that are associated with pleural mesothelioma are persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, weight loss, fever, hoarse and spittle of blood. Patients may also experience shortness of breath because the tumor on the lining of the lungs increases, leaving less room for the lungs to function properly. Some patients also begin to experience severe pain in the chest and this is due to the spread of cancer cells. Many of these symptoms are similar to diseases and conditions that are much more common than mesotheliomas which means that pleural mesothelioma is often very difficult to diagnose until it is too late.Treatment of pleural mesothelioma is limited and yet there is no proper remedy. Research is conducted in laboratories all over the United States and many pharmaceutical companies are also testing new treatments. Treatments for pleural mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Patient age, medical record, weight and other factors are taken into account before treatment. In general, the chances of survival are much more likely than pleural mesothelioma is treated aggressively in its beginnings because once the cancer has developed and matured it is very difficult to cure.
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