Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, Prognosis and Top Treatments

Pleural mesothelioma is cancer of the pleura, which is the protective lining of the lungs. This is the most common form of mesothelioma and is caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. Symptoms of mesothelioma of the chest cavity include shortness of breath, dry cough, and chest pain.

What is Pleural Mesuralelioma?

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare malignant cancer. Nearly 75% of diagnosed mesothelioma cases manifest in the pleura, making it the most common of the four varieties.

The cause of pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers, which are inhaled to the lungs. It normally takes 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma to develop after a person is first exposed to asbestos. Because of this latent period, the disease usually attacks people over 75 years old.

The average life expectancy for pleural mesothelioma is often less than 18 months, but it depends on many elements.

Whereas there is no cure for mesothelioma, some patients live longer with treatment. Combining some treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, has helped some people live for years. Clinical trials offer entry into new treatments such as immunotherapy.

Pleural Mesothelioma Facts

The most common type of mesothelioma

Being in soft tissue that covers the lungs

Symptoms: Shortness of breath, chest pain, dry cough, and fatigue

Diagnostic Tool: Image scanning and tissue biopsy

Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and experimental therapy

Life Desires: About 40% live at least one year

What Causes Pleural Mesothelioma?

Asbestos causes pleural mesothelioma. After inhaling mineral fibers such as needles, they tend to glue in the lungs and gradually move to the pleural lining.

Over a long period of time, these fibers cause irritation, chronic inflammation and genetic changes that change cancer cells.

These cancer cells grow rapidly and uncontrollably, threatening the surrounding organs.

Two layers make up the pleural layer. The outer layer coats all the components in the chest cavity (inside the rib cage), and the inner layer covers the lungs.

Malignant tumors can develop in both layers and rapidly spread to other layers. When tumors develop on the pleural surface, they grow to form a mass around the affected lung. They also cause pleural fluid to accumulate in the chest cavity.

The combination of tumor mass in the lungs and collection of pleural fluid prevents the lungs from enlarging, which causes breathing difficulties.

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

For many people, the symptoms of mesothelioma do not appear until the cancer is in the next stage.

 Out of breath

 Chest pain or painful breathing

 Persistent dry or hoarse cough

 Coughing up blood

 Trouble swallowing

 Pain in the lower back or ribs

 Weight loss and fatigue that cannot be proven

 Swelling of the face or arms

 Night sweats or fever

 Lump under the skin on the chest

Patients rarely report weight loss and fatigue during their initial doctor visit. These symptoms can show that the cancer has advanced. Some patients experience swelling in the face or arms, back pain or nerve pain.

Alternative Treatments for Pleural Mesothelioma

Standard pleural mesothelioma treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is the most common type of pleural treatment. A combination of treatments can be applied, known as multimodal therapy, if a patient is diagnosed early. This treatment can improve symptoms, such as chest pain and difficulty breathing, and increase survival.

Patients can access this therapy at top cancer centers in all countries that specialize in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.


Pleural mesothelioma patients diagnosed at the initial stage benefit the most from surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer and prevent it from recurring for as long as possible.

The two most common operations for pleural mesothelioma are extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy and decortication. Mesothelioma experts can consider whether you meet the requirements for surgery and tell you which procedure is the best option for your diagnosis.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy

More aggressive surgical options, extrapleural pneumonectomy removes the pleura, whole lung cancer, diaphragm and heart sac (pericardium).

Pleurectomy and Decortication

Pleurectomy and decortication, or radical pleurectomy, involve removal of the affected tumor and pleura (lining of the lungs).


The most common treatment of pleural mesothelioma is chemotherapy. He uses one or more drugs, generally a combination of cisplatin or carboplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta), to kill cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying. Updated progress has increased how well patients respond to chemotherapy, but the overall success rate is consistently low.

Radiation therapy

Targeted radiation can destroy cancer cells and reduce tumor size. Radiation therapy cannot cure pleural mesothelioma, but rather it is a targeted system for resolving chest pain. Radiation can also help prevent cancer recurrence after surgery.

External light radiation therapy is the most common form of radiation therapy for pleural mesothelioma. The session was rapid, painless, and only needed a few minutes.

Care arises

Treatments that arise include the use of immunotherapy, gene therapy and photodynamic therapy to treat pleural mesothelioma. This treatment is designed to fight cancer more precisely on target, while causing fewer side effects for patients.

You might be able to get experimental therapy via clinical trials of mesothelioma. Some patients may be eligible for immunotherapy drugs and other treatments that arise through a full application of berries.

Complementary Medicine and Choice

Some patients may benefit from combining complementary therapies, such as medical marijuana, food supplements or acupuncture, with conventional cancer treatments to reduce symptoms and side effects of treatment.

To avoid harmful drug interactions, always consult with your medical team before starting any treatment or complementary therapy.

How is pleural mesothelioma diagnosed?

The diagnostic work for pleural mesothelioma begins when the doctor measures the initial symptoms. Chest pain and difficulty breathing require chest X-ray, which accentuates the buildup of fluid or tumors around the lungs. Patients should be referred to experts for further testing.

The expert must apply advanced imaging scans and tissue biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. Except identifying cancer, deciding the stage of cancer and cell types is very important to make the treatment agenda on target.

There are a number of situations that can highlight a person's history of exposure to asbestos and the potential diagnosis of mesothelioma, including pleural plaque, pleural effusion, and pleural thickening.

Pleural Plaque

The small zone of thickening in the pleura is the most common sign that someone has been exposed to asbestos in the past. Pleural plaques are not cancerous and generally do not cause symptoms, but they can indicate an increased risk of cancer.

Pleural effusion

Irritation of asbestos fibers can cause excess fluid to accumulate between the two pleural layers. This condition, called pleural effusion, is present in many cases of pleural mesothelioma. A little liquid between the pleural layers is healthy. Too much pressure on the lungs, causing chest pain that worsens when you cough or take a deep breath.

Pleural thickening

When the large zone of the pleura tightens due to scarring, it may become difficult and painful to breathe. Thickening of the pleura around the two lungs is often a sign of significant asbestos exposure. Recurrent episodes of pleural effusion can cause pleural thickening to worsen when scar tissue collects.

Pleural Mesothelioma Level

Pleural mesothelioma staging is how doctors consider the development of cancer in the patient's body. This stage influences what alternative treatments can be applied.

The International Mesothelioma Interest Group produces the most widely used staging method for pleural mesothelioma.

Stages 1 and 2, which are considered as the initial stage, display localized tumors. Levels 3 and 4, which reveal the next stage, categorize tumor spread.

Prognosis for Pleural Mesothelioma

The average pleural mesothelioma prognosis, or the desired course and outcome for this disease, is bad for most patients because this cancer develops rapidly and is resistant to many existing therapies.

Forecasting the prognosis of individuals is apt to be really challenging because the disease is complicated. Each person responds differently to treatment.

The Elements That Give Your Prognosis

Staging: An element specifically in the prognosis of mesothelioma, which is the stage of the disease when it is diagnosed. Early-stage cancer offers a better chance for long-term survival than late-stage cancer.

Types of cells: Variations in mesothelioma tumor cells also really give prognosis effect.

Age: Younger patients tend to live longer.

Genital variation: Women tend to live longer with the disease than men.

Pleural fluid: A higher amount of pleural fluid in the chest is associated with a worse prognosis.

Patient Activity Level: Patients who are more active have a better prognosis.

Cancer recurrence: Mesothelioma recurrence is associated with a worse prognosis.

Correcting Your Prognosis

By taking proactive steps, it is possible to live longer and be better with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Some patients even take remission after treatment and live for years without symptoms of cancer.

Inspirational stories from survivors of mesothelioma suggest many different systems for dealing with cancer challenges. However, many survivors make the same basic options to improve their welfare.

How Can People Live Longer with Pleural Mesothelioma?

Seek treatment from an experienced mesothelioma expert

Improve your lifestyle to improve your overall health

Enter updated therapy via clinical trials

Use palliative and complementary medicine to improve the quality of your life

Willingness for Mesothelioma Medication

There is no definitive cure for pleural mesothelioma. However, the combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy has enabled patients to improve their prognosis. In fact patients who do not meet the requirements for surgery have survived for many years after their diagnosis thanks to experimental clinical trials and treatments that arise like immunotherapy.

Researchers around the world have dedicated their careers to finding more targeted treatments aimed at curing pleural mesothelioma and diagnosing cancer at an early stage.