Another name for peritoneal mesothelioma. Cancer of the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Pain that comes on quickly and may be severe, but lasts a relatively short period of time.
cancer that forms in the cells of glands or in parts of the body that produce mucous. Also called “nonsmall cell lung cancer”. Tumors include cube or column-shaped cells found along the outer edges of the lungs and under the membrane lining of the bronchi.
Chemotherapy drugs (including hormones) given after surgery or radiation or both to help prevent the cancer from coming back. More.
Autoimmune disease occurring on areas of the body (most commonly the scalp) where a person’s immune system attacks hair follicles suppressing and arresting hair growth.
Tiny structures inside the lungs responsible for pulmonary gas exchange. Asbestos fibers become lodged in these structures which may lead to scarring.
Having too few red blood cells. Common side effect of chemotherapy. Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired, weak, and short of breath.
The formation of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis is essential for the growth of tumors. Tumor cells release chemicals to encourage blood vessel growth.
A chemical which signals the process of angiogenesis to stop and thereby prevents the formation of blood vessels. In anticancer therapy, an angiogenesis inhibitor prevents the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to a solid tumor.
Prevention of the growth of new blood vessels. Drug designers use this strategy to try to slow tumor growth.
A mineral fiber. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer.
An accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity symptomatic of mesothelioma and also found in patients with cirrhosis. More on ascites.
Treatment that stimulates the body’s immune defense system to fight infection and disease. Also called immunotherapy. Some doctors consider this a type of chemotherapy, but it is usually classified as a separate type of treatment.
One of the earliest forms of cancer treatment, brachytherapy involves the insertion of small tube-like seeds that contain a dose of radiation into or directly next to a tumor. This has largely been replaced by external radiation therapy but is still a common treatment for prostate cancer.
Pain that occurs in patients with chronic pain that is controlled by medications. The pain “breaks through” the normal control.
A substance that is known to cause cancer. Asbestos can be considered a carcinogen because it can cause mesothelioma. More about carcinogens.
This term generally refers to cancer metastasis (spread) to numerous regions of the body where it can attack a wide variety of organs, as well as soft, connective or bone tissues (for example) simultaneously.
Computerized tomography – a diagnostic medical test that uses X-Rays to create a 3-dimensional image of part of the body. Also called CT scans.
The use of anticancer drugs, generally administered through an IV, to treat cancer.
Pain that may range from mild to severe and persists or progresses over a long period of time.
Medical studies designed to compare a well-known, or standard, treatment with a new or alternative treatment. Clinical trials are usually done in three phases. Phase I tests the safety of the treatment on a small number of patients. Phase II assesses the effectiveness of the treatment and usually involves a larger group of people. Phase III provides in-depth information about the effectiveness and safety, by comparing experimental treatment with the standard protocol. Phase III trials usually involve several thousand patients nationwide.
The use of more than one drug to treat cancer.
A surgical procedure involving the removal of the membrane or outer cover of an organ. The procedure is commonly performed on mesothelioma patients if the lung is constricted and cannot be totally inflated.
The use of skilled and scientific methods to establish the cause and nature of a disease.
Clinical trial in which participants do not know what treatment they are receiving. The doctors and nurses treating them don’t know either. Researchers keep this information secret until each patient’s health status is known, usually after at least a year or more of treatments.
Shortness of breath; difficulty breathing..
The study of a disease’s spread. Page on mesothelioma epidemiology.
One of the 4 main bodily tissues, they often compose the linings of organs and membranes as well as the skin. These cells line the insides of the lungs.
The science and study of the causes, origins and reasons of diseases and their mode of operation.
A technique for modifying genes responsible for disease development. Still largely experimental.
A treatment which activates the bodies own immune system to destroy disease. Treatment of disease by stimulating the body s own immune system. This is a type of therapy currently being researched as a treatment for cancer.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
High-precision radiation therapy technique uses computer-controlled x-ray beams so that the radiation delivery conforms to the shape of the tumor. It does this by modulating-or controlling-the intensity of the radiation beam to focus a higher radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing radiation to surrounding healthy tissues.
A small telescoping rod inserted into the body during laparoscopy. It often contains an illuminating device and a camera to transmit images to the operating physician. It can also have a small component capable of removing tissue for sampling.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure where small incisions are made in the abdominal area and a laparoscope is inserted into the body. Often used for biopsies it can also be used for minor surgeries.
Cells that digest pathogens and cellular debris. When trying to digest inhaled asbestos fibers in the lungs, they often split open and their internal fluids then damage the alveoli. The damage is then multiplied as more macrophages try to digest the particle and eventually fibrosis may develop.
Physiological indications of the presence of cancer. Mesothelioma is often diagnosed with the immunohistochemical markers.
A surgical procedure to examine the inside of the upper chest between and in front of the lungs (also known as the mediastinum). During a mediastinoscopy, a thin scope (mediastinoscope) is inserted through a small incision. A tissue sample (biopsy) can be collected through the mediastinoscope and then examined.
A glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked glycoprotein. A cell surface antigen. The biological function is not known, but the protein is expressed in large quantities in mesothelial cells, and in mesotheliomas and other cancers.
A form of cancer where the primary tumor is on the mesothelium – the internal lining of body cavities. Mesothelioma is a carcinoma. It is called pleural mesothelioma when the pleural cavity is affected and peritoneal mesothelioma when the tumor is in the abdominal cavity. Most mesothelioma cases can be traced to inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Membrane that lines the pleura, peritoneum, and pericardium and produces lubricating fluids to allow the heart and lungs to glide against neighboring structures
The spread of cancer cells to distant areas of the body through the lymph system or bloodstream.
magnetic resonance imaging – a diagnostic medical test that uses magnetic fields to create a 3-dimensional image of part of the body. FAQ on MRI.
Click here for explanation
The development of cellular changes leading to the development of a malignant tumor
Powerful prescription medications that are administered to relieve severe pain. Common opioids are endorphin, fentanyl and methadone.
Treatment that is not expected to cure, but rather to slow down the progress of a disease and make the person comfortable and as happy as possible throughout the process.
Medical procedure that uses a needle remove/drain fluid accumulated in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal fluid). These fluid deposits are also called ascites.
Used in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. More.
The functional parts of an organ. For instance alveoli are part of the parenchyma of the lung.
A protective layer of tissue enveloping the heart and the origins of many important blood vessels. The fibrous layer of the pericardium anchors the heart to surrounding tissue and prevents it from overfilling with blood. The serous layer prevents friction as the heart pumps.
Cancer of the peritoneum, which is the inside lining of the lower part of the chest.
Lining of the abdominal organs and cavity.
Permissible Exposure Limit
A parameter used in assessment of workplace hazards. Click here for an explanation of PELs.
Process wherein a cell surrounds large particles and envelops them through the cell membrane. (See Macrophages)
New cancer therapy. Patients are injected with a photosensitized chemical designed to be absorbed by the cancerous cells, not the healthy cells. The area is then irradiated with light that activates the chemical and causes the cancerous cells to die.
The thin covering that protects and cushions the lungs and chest cavity. The pleura is made up of two membrane (layers of tissue) that are separated by a small amount of fluid.
Collection of fluid in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall.
A serous fluid found within the pleural cavity between the parietal and visceral pleura
Cancer of the mesothelium lining around the lungs. The most common type of mesothelioma.
Positron Emission Tomography
PET, or Positron Emission Tomography, is a procedure that produces powerful images of the body’s biological functions and is being used more and more frequently in the treatment and monitoring of malignant diseases. Unlike conventional imaging, PET does not show the body’s anatomy, rather it shows the chemical function or metabolism of an organ or tissue.
This is a broad term that refers to variant forms of lung tissue inflammation, which can be caused by infections such as pneumonia (one form of pneumonitis). Pneumonitis can also result from allergic reactions to inhaled particulates in the air, as well as from radiation therapies delivered to the upper thoracic (chest) region of the body.
A doctor’s opinion on the progression of a patient’s condition and chances for improvement/recovery. Prognosis of mesothelioma.
Genes that code for cell growth regulation and differentiation. They can lead to malignant tumors if they are mutated or over expressed.
Scarring in the alveoli of the lungs. Can cause stiffening of the lung walls. More.
The use of high-energy rays or subatomic particles to treat disease. Types of radiation include x-ray, electron beam, alpha and beta particle, and gamma ray.
The non-functioning supportive framework of an organ. The mesothelium which lines the pleura, peritoneum, and pericardium can be considered stroma.
Removal of fluid from the pleural cavity in the chest by inserting a needle into the chest. Used in diagnosis of mesothelioma. More on thoracentesis.
Thrombocytopenia is a reduced platelet (thrombocyte) count. It occurs when platelets are lost faster than they can be replaced. It can be caused by a failure in platelet production or a severe injury.
A form of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy that integrates a CT Scan in the treatment to better target tumors and reduce radiation to healthy tissue. The scan allows greater precision for the radiation treatment by pinpointing tumor mass. Tomotherpy.
Tumor Suppressor Gene
A gene that when activated can halt a cell’s cycle or encourage apoptosis reducing the probability that a damaged cell will evolve into a tumor cell.
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery
A technique used to diagnose and treat problems in the chest, which has found increasing use in mesothelioma diagnosis in recent years. The doctors inserts a fiber-optic camera (called a thorascope) into the chest.