Mesothelium is the lining that surrounds the organs.  Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms in the mesotheium, usually around the lungs, but occasionally around the abdominal cavity or the heart, or even surrounding the testicles.  While fairly rare, it has been noted that mesothelioma is usually the result of the inhalation of asbestos, a known carcinogen.  The negative effects of asbestos were noted after it had been placed in many buildings as a fire retardant, which has resulted in the renovation of those buildings in more recent years.  There are still buildings that contain asbestos, though, and there are still people who get mesotheolioma.

While all forms of cancer are frightening and difficult to deal with, mesothelioma in particular, is something that can have a terrible emotional impact on people.  The prognosis for melosthelioma patients is not good, and even the treatments can be painful and psychologically trying.  For many sufferers of mesothelioma around the lungs, pleurisy can develop, wherein a fluid fills the area between the lungs and the chest wall.  This can create pressure against the lungs, and can make it extremely difficult for the patient to breathe.  One treatment for this is for the doctor to draw the liquid out with a syringe.  While doctors will often say that this is a perfectly common procedure, and that they don’t need an x-ray in order to do it correctly, it is always best to demand one so that they have exact knowledge of the patient’s anatomy.

Regardless of how ‘common’ a procedure is, the doctor can still make mistakes, and the more steps they take to avoid those mistakes, the better off everyone will be.  In some cases, the fluid will continue to build up at such a rate that drawing it out with a syringe is no longer viable, and a catheter must be put in so that the fluid can drain as it builds up.  This is something that generally requires hospitalization.  Occasionally, a powder can be sprayed in between the lungs and the chest cavity that discourages the buildup of this fluid, though it does nothing to fight the cancer.

The truth is that mesothelioma can be extremely difficult to deal with, and while there are some survivors (more when it is caught in its early development), the prognosis is not usually good.  The people who have it must be credited with great internal fortitude for dealing with such an illness.