Lung tumors originate from cells lining the airways and are also called bronchogenic cancers. Their place of origin are the main bronchi, smaller bronchi leading to segments of the lung or small bronchioles leading to the alveoli. Is mesothelioma lung cancer?
When it comes to tumors from large bronchi, we are talking about centrally located tumors (located near the mediastinum), while tumors from small bronchioles are usually in a “peripheral” position, i.e. located on the periphery of the lung. The formation of a tumor occurs as a result of the transformation of cells of normal respiratory epithelium as a result of disorders (in most mutations) of genes important for cell growth and its division. These disorders are most often caused by carcinogens.
Lung cancer, or bronchogenic malignant neoplasm originating from the airway epithelium, constitutes the vast majority of lung cancers. Rare lung cancers (approximately 1%) include lymphomas and non-epithelial cancers. Mesothelioma is the most common pleural cancer.
Pleural mesothelioma (malignant mesothelioma) is a rare malignant tumor originating from the superficial cells of the pleural lining. Sometimes it can also develop in the pericardium and peritoneum. Pleural mesothelioma is most often diagnosed in men over 60 years of age. Unfortunately, due to the low characteristic symptoms, it is diagnosed late and treatment is usually not satisfactory.
There are two types of this cancer:
– Limited form, which develops most often only within one pleural sac. This character does not metastasize and grows relatively slowly. Surgical removal of the tumor guarantees healing
– A vast, extremely malicious character. Such a tumor grows quickly, even leading to the growth of the entire pleural cavity. Most tumor tissue accumulates above the diaphragm and within inter-lobe furrows. The growing tumor squeezes the lung and limits its mobility. Metastases appear very quickly and affect the lymphatic and blood vessels
Pleural mesothelioma – causes
Exposure to asbestos is the main but not the only cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma. About 70-80% of people with this cancer have a history of long-term exposure to the harmful effects of asbestos. However, only about 5% of people exposed to asbestos develop this disease. The tumor develops long after exposure – up to several dozen years.
Although asbestos production has been almost completely reduced, there is still a noticeable increase in the incidence of pleural mesothelioma, which is associated with high exposure to its harmful effects in earlier years.
Potential other factors contributing to mesothelioma:
- SV40 virus (simian virus).
- Ionizing radiation.
- Silicon dioxide.
What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?
The prognosis for a rare benign form is usually good. In most cases, mesothelioma is a malignant form. The chances of recovery depend closely on the severity of the disease at the time of diagnosis – the more advanced the cancer, the worse the prognosis. In the rare benign form, the prognosis is usually good.