Updated: 9/22/2017

Mesothelioma

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Introduction
  • Can be malignant or benign
  • Malignant mesothelioma can be localized or diffuse
  • Risk factors include:
    • asbestos exposure
    • talc
  • Benign usually involves visceral pleura, and appears as pedunculated "broccoli" lesion on a stalk coming of the lung
Presentation
  • Localized: pleuritic pain, joint pain, swelling, dyspnea
  • Diffuse: chest pain, malaise, weight loss, cough
Evaluation
  • CXR
  • CT
  • Pleural effusion present in 10% with local disease, >75% with diffuse disease
  • Diagnosis made with pleural biopsy
    • shows "dumbell bodies"
Treatment
  • Localized malignant: surgical excision
  • Diffuse malignant: early stages may be resected, otherwise radiation and/or chemo
  • Benign: surgical resection with 1cm margin
Prognosis and Complications
  • Localized malignant: poor if tumor is malignant
  • Diffuse malignant: dismal (average life span after diagnosis is one year)
  • Benign: excellent with cure in vast majority of cases

 

 

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