Mesothelioma Definition - What Is Mesothelioma ?

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a tumor in the lung membranes (pleural mesothelioma) or the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). Usually the disease is rare. Nevertheless comes mesothelomia much more common than peritoneal cancer.


Due to the (unprotected) work with the risk of asbestos mesothelioma is considerably higher and it can be considered to be an occupational disease. Near shipyards, which used frequently worked with asbestos, the incidence is high and still rising. Long thin asbestos fibers which remain intact in the body, play the most important role in the etiology of this disease. Other minerals such as erionite can cause the disease, such as in the vicinity of the Turkish place Tuzkoy.

Unlike asbestosis, mesothelioma can already occur after short-term exposure to asbestos or regular exposure to relatively low concentrations of asbestos fibers. The chance of development of mesothelioma is dependent on the concentration and the duration of exposure to asbestos fibers; As the exposure to asbestos fibers is greater, the possibility to get mesothelioma, increasing. The severity of the disease is not dependent on the degree of exposure.

The disease manifests itself after 10 to 60 years after the time of exposure (usually after 30 to 40 years).


A mesothelioma gives various symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and weight loss. In addition, the patient may suffer from coughing a lot. When the tumor in the esophagus press is swallowing difficult, with a tumor between the ribs is a swelling in the chest.

 Mesothelioma is a tumor in the lung membranes  Mesothelioma Definition - What Is Mesothelioma ?

Mesothelioma treatment

Curative (healing) treatment does not exist. An operation or chemotherapy is still given, since it can improve the symptoms. In many cases, is chosen for palliative (pain-relieving and life-prolonging) treatment with pleural mesothelioma consists of draining of excess pleural fluid, and the giving of chemotherapy.

After diagnosis dies about 80% of patients within a year and very few patients survive the second year after diagnosis.

By now (since January 2006) is the means pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) included in the standard treatments and the reimbursement list of health insurers. Pemetrexed resulting in a slightly longer survival. Pemetrexed / Alimta is certainly not a panacea but as an asset palliative chemotherapy.

Mesothelioma in Netherlands

In 1965 it was already clear that there was a strong link between asbestos and pleural cancer. In 1993, working with the mineral prohibited. In the 70 most asbestos was processed. The highest numbers of new victims is expected about 40 years later, that is between 2012 and 2017. The Netherlands has in Britain after the highest proportion of cases of asbestos cancer.

It is much more common in men than in women, 85% and 15% respectively. Insulation workers and carpenters are most affected, including mechanics and machinists are more at risk than average. In the period 1995-1999 were recorded on average 350 cases of mesothelioma per year. In 2011 this had risen to about 500. Most patients are older than 65 years. According to expert Bob Ruers will in the Netherlands in the coming decades even ten thousand people die of asbestos cancer. Since December 2007, everyone who receives mesothelioma has a fee of € 17,000 from the government.

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