Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mesothelioma Killed Merlin Olsen: What is Mesothelioma, What Types Exist, and What are the Causes and Symptoms?

If you are one of the many who were shocked by the news of Merlin Olsen death today in California, and are wondering about what mesothelioma is, you will want to read this report. Olsen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and was recognized as the NFL most valuable player in 1974. He died Thursday March 11, 2010, reportedly of mesothelioma. This report will go into detail of what mesothelioma is, what the most common types of mesothelioma are, what the causes of mesothelioma are and what are the symptoms. You will be better prepared in case you know someone who is experiencing such symptoms.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. The word mesothelioma is a latin word that stands for middle (meso) and thelioma. Thelioma is derived from latin epithelium, which is a membrane that lines the body cavity in embrio and then develops into either a skeletal muscle, heart muscle, or pleura, the membrane lining the lungs and the chest cavity.

What are the Most Common Types of Mesothelioma

Most common types are pleural mesothelioma, affecting the linings of the lungs and chest cavity. Less common is peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdominal cavity. Least common are the pericardial, affecting the sac of the heart, and tunica vaginalis mesothelioma, whih affects the pouch of the testis in men.

What are the Causes of Mesothelioma?

Only 2000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year according to NCI, the national cancer institute.

Mesothelioma has become famous because of the several lawsuits against landlords who have not removed asbestos from their buildings ad have not told the tennants about the asbestos. The Los Angeles Northridge earthquake in 1994 exposed many asbestos-filled dwellings and there were series of asbestos related lawsuits then. 70-80% of mesothelioma cases are directly linked to exposure to asbestos which can be found in root plates, textiles, house insulation and car brake linings, and even inside the cement.

What are the Most Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The common symptoms of Mesothelioma include: Appearance of fluid in the space between the chest and the lung wall, also shortness of breath. Sometimes the weight loss will follow. Sometimes mesothelioma is accompanied by chest pains, and often there are no symptoms at all for a long time, even years. The diagnosis of mesothelioma can be accomplished by a CAT scan, or with an X-ray of the chest. This can be corroborated by a biopsy which is done by inserting a tube with a camera into the chest and take a sample. This is caled thoracoscopy.