Asbestos is a natural mineral product. Because of its resistance to heat and corrosion, asbestos has been a very valuable product in manufacturing. In the past, asbestos was widely used in products like cement, some vinyl floor tiles, fire-retardant materials and insulation.
The United States government started to regulate the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the middle of the 1970s. Presently, the handling and use of asbestos is strictly regulated.
This government regulation is due to the fact that heavy, long-term exposure to asbestos before this regulation started has resulted in serious lung and breathing problems. One of these difficulties is asbestosis.
Another problem is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Malignant cells develop in your mesothelium. Your mesothelium is a protective lining that covers most of your body’s internal organs.
Fortunately, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year in the United States.
Pleural malignant mesothelioma is a type of mesothelioma. It affects the tissue that surrounds your lungs.
Pleural malignant mesothelioma is the common form of this disease. It accounts for about 75% of all the cases of mesothelioma in the United States.
As mentioned above, pleural malignant mesothelioma is caused most of the time by exposure to asbestos. Most of the people who get pleural malignant mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they were exposed to asbestos fiber and dust in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put you at risk for having pleural malignant mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking.
There are several signs and symptoms that you may experience with pleural malignant mesothelioma. Some of these are:
- Painful breathing (pleurisy)
- Unusual lumps of tissue that are under the skin of your chest
- Chest pain under your rib cage
- Unexplained weight loss
- Anorexia (eating disorder that involves an intense fear of gaining weight)
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Painful coughing
- Dry cough.