Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the tissue that lines various organs of the body. There are four types of mesothelioma cancer, namely :
- Pleural mesothelioma (pleural mesothelioma), which is a cancer that attacks the lining of the mesothelium (pleura). This type is the most common type.
- Mesothelioma peritoneum (peritoneal mesothelioma), namely mesothelioma of the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).
- Mesothelioma pericardium (pericardial mesothelioma), which is mesothelioma which attacks the protective layer of the heart organ.
- Testicular mesothelioma, which is a mesothelioma that attacks the protective layer of the testicles or testicles.
There is a benign tumor in the chest called the solitary fibrous tumor which is sometimes called benign mesothelioma. This condition is not included in mesothelioma which will be discussed.
Causes of Mesothelioma
The cause of mesothelioma is not certain. However, mesothelioma is always associated with asbestos exposure or asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that is widely used as a building construction material, such as roofs, because of its heat resistance and fire resistance. The use of asbestos has been officially banned since 1999.
When asbestos is destroyed, either during the process of mining or renovating a building, asbestos will produce fiber or fine dust. Asbestos fine fiber is very easy to breathe, then enters and settles in body organs, especially the lungs. Swallowed asbestos fibers can also move through the lymphatic system, settle, and infect cells in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).
Asbestos exposure can also affect the function of the reproductive organs and the heart. However, the spread process is not yet known because it is very rare.
Apart from asbestos, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of mesothelioma, although it is rare. These include exposure to erionite minerals, radiation exposure to thorium dioxide chemicals used in X-ray photo examinations until the 1950s, and infection with simian viruses (SV40).