What does the word pleura have anything to do with mesothelioma? Well, the two have more in common than you may think. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer developed after years of exposure to harmful toxins known as asbestos. These toxins are breathed in and over time, develop into the deadly disease called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma most commonly affects an area of the body known as the pleura.
So what are pleura? Great question. The pleura is a collection of tissue around the lungs. More specifically, the pleura forms a double layer of protection around the lungs. There is also an area called the pleural cavity. This area is the space between the lungs and the pleura. When a patient develops mesothelioma, he often has pleural mesothelioma.
As you can imagine, diseases that affect the lungs are very serious. With mesothelioma, the tissue known as the pleura is affected. In severe cases, fluid builds up in the pleural cavity. This causes severe problems with the lungs. It causes severe chest discomfort and extreme difficulty breathing. Often, mesothelioma patients must receive breathing treatment exercises in addition to normal cancer treatment to cope with the difficulty.
Pleural mesothelioma is often difficult to treat because of the sensitive nature of the location of the disease. Also, the surgical options available are risky and require tremendous amounts of skill and ability.