Benign Mesothelioma - Asbestos has been known to cause benign mesothelioma as well as malignant mesothelioma in employees who have had exposure to this agent in the workplace as well as those who have become exposed in other areas.
A mesothelioma diagnosis can occur anywhere from 20 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos. When fibers from asbestos are either inhaled or ingested otherwise they can become lodged in the lining of the abdomen, heart, or lungs.
The amount of fiber exposure that caused this benign mesothelioma is unknown to the medical profession as well as why or how asbestos causes this disease. They do know; however, that if the fibers are lodged in the lungs ones natural defense mechanism in the body will try to break them down in an attempt to remove them. This process can lead to inflammation of the lung tissue which can eventually lead to cancer.
Although a patient may have a case of mesothelioma that is benign, from time to time these can become cancerous. Recently, these types of tumors or cysts have been more commonly referred to as a solitary fibrous tumor of the pleura. The biggest difference and the most important difference is that the benign form of these tumors does not spread.
Pelvic pain and/or lower abdominal pain are the most common benign mesothelioma symptoms. If the benign tumor is in the heart or the lungs and the symptoms will include chest pain, shortness of breath, along with a chronic cough. A physician may notice that either a benign or malignant tumor may be present if they observed that the patient presents with clubbed fingers, meaning that the mailbag takes on a distorted angle. Dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood stream are what cause this phenomenon.
Testing for diagnosing benign mesothelioma are the same as the tests used for malignant mesothelioma. The impossibility to distinguish one from the other is what makes the use of diagnostic imaging for both types and necessity. The tests used to distinguish one from the other begin with:
- CT scan
- Open lung biopsy
Often times the physician will recommend that the cysts be removed by surgery in order to relieve the symptoms. It is important to note; however, that many times there will be no symptoms and the disease will be detected in routine radiologic procedures.
Due to the increased links between benign Mesothelioma and malignant mesothelioma to exposure to asbestos, this material is rarely used in today's world. Prior to the 1940s and 1950s this product was used in many places of business, factories, shipyards, oil refineries, and other areas making the occurrence of mesothelioma very high. The good news is that with the elimination of the asbestos in all of our lives, we should see the instances of this disease reduced in numbers greatly.
After one has had the surgery to remove the benign mesothelioma cysts or tumors should continue to have regular checkups as well as x-rays. The presence of the benign form of the disease can be an indicator that the malignant type may show up in the future.