Mesothelioma lung cancer and ordinary lung cancer should not be confused with each other since both are totally different entities. Lung cancer affects the inside of the lungs and the reasons can be wide ranging including smoking habits. But mesothelioma occurs in the mesothelium, a protective covering of the lungs and is exclusively caused due to inhalation of asbestos fibers. The disease manifests itself only many years after asbestos exposure and this result in the disease becoming incurable.
The cancer is comparatively rare and as such, most of our cancer hospitals and doctors lack the requisite means and knowledge for treatment. In the United States, less than 3000 mesothelioma cases are diagnosed yearly. This cancer is considered as an occupational danger because it is the workers of factories or asbestos mines who usually get affected.
It takes many years for the asbestos particles settled in the mesothelium to destroy the lining to life-threatening levels. But the virtual inexistence of any symptoms at the initial stages results in lack of timely checkups and cancer detection. The ultimate result is death.
Mesothelioma lung cancer can be cured if detected and treated in the initial stages. But most cases of this cancer are discovered many decades after asbestos infection had taken place when harsh warning signs come up. The cancer has four stages. Patients in the first stage have better chances of survival. Even those in stage two can hope for the better since traditional treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are sufficient to prolong the life of the affected. But chemotherapy, which is a tactic to prevent spread and recurrence of cancerous cells, is fraught with side effects. Radiation therapy destroys the cancerous cells through high-energy beams.
The next two levels, the third and fourth stages are highly dangerous and entail very little hope of survival. Medical practitioners generally use only palliative treatment, that is, the treatment of the symptoms, to provide the patient a comfortable life as long as he lives. Mesothelioma lung cancer patients are legally entitled to file litigations for monetary compensation also. If the outcome is positive, the money awarded can be of immense help to meet all treatment and household expenses of the patient.