Mesothelioma can also strike children, young adults

3 Mar 2018 by under Research/Treatment

220px Effusionhalf 100x100 Mesothelioma can also strike children, young adults

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that typically takes years to develop. But in some cases, children and young adults can fall victim to this deadly disease.

is commonly linked to exposure to , a silicate mineral that was widely used in the 1970s in insulation. The disease often forms on the thin protective tissues that cover the lungs or in the abdomen. The majority of people diagnosed with were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and often, the disease does not develop for 20 to 50 years after exposure.

The use of asbestos has decreased significantly in the U.S. in recent decades, but there continue to be about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year in the U.S. Because it generally takes so long for the disease develop, most people who are diagnosed are older. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of diagnosis of a patient exposed to asbestos is 69.

It is extremely rare for a young person to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, but according to Mesothelioma Research News, nine cases of mesothelioma in children and young adults have been reported between 1999 and 2003. The exact cause is unknown, but it is possible that these patients inhaled asbestos fibers from a close family member who had been exposed to the material, or that they had played in or around buildings that contained asbestos. Other possible explanations include being treated with the antibiotic isoniazid (used to treat tuberculosis), and radiation exposure.

The symptoms of pediatric mesothelioma are similar to those as an adult, and include chest pain, shortness of breath, reduced chest expansion, faint or harsh breathing sounds, dry cough and wheezing, coughing up blood, body aches, blood clotting disorders, and pleural effusions, or excess fluid in the pleural cavity that surrounds the lungs.

Prognosis tends to be better for children and young adults with mesothelioma than for older people who develop the disease. The treatments recommended are typically the same.

Source: Mesothelioma Research News

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