Pathophysiology: Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. The most common anatomical site for mesothelioma is the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis). Once fibers cause biological damage, the stage is set for the decades-long latency period for the development of malignant mesothelioma.
Signs & Symptoms: Mesothelioma signs may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. The most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other features may include weight loss, fever, night sweats, poor appetite, vomiting, constipation, and umbilical hernia. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
Statistics: A total of 1734 of mesothelioma deaths were reported, varying widely, from 99 in 1995 to 16 in 1997. There was an increasing (44.0%) trend of deaths overtime. The proportionate mesothelioma mortality in 1990 was 0.3/1000 and showed a linear declining trend until 0.01/1000 in 2010. Conclusions Argentina ban extraction, production, and the asbestos trade in 2001 but little is known about its impact or prospects on workers’ health. The number of mesothelioma deaths is growing and it is plausible to continue to increase given its long latency period.