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Mesothelioma Dictionary

Mesothelioma Dictionary of Legal & Medical Terms
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M

Macrophages
Scavenger cells that keep the lung's air sacs clean.
Macrophage
A type of immune cell found in tissues that phagocytizes (engulfs and destroys) particles as part of its function.
Macule
Small spot or thickening that is different in color from the surrounding tissue
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. MRI makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as CT or x-ray. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones. Also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.
Maintenance Therapy (Secondary Prophylaxis)
Preventive therapy that follows successful initial treatment of an illness.
Malaise
Feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness; often the first indication of an infection or other disease.
Malignancy
A tumor that is malignant, that is cancerous, that can invade and destroy nearby tissue, and that may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Malignant
1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant hypertension. 2. In regard to a tumor, having the properties of a malignancy that can invade and destroy nearby tissue and that may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Malignant Mesothelioma
A very rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure that occurs in the sac lining of the chest (pleural mesothelioma) or abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), or the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM)
Cancer of the mesothelial membranes surrounding the lungs and lining the thoracic cavity
Malignant Seeding
Growth of a tumor at a site which may outside its original domain because of contamination of a new site with malignant cells after a biopsy or from cells in a malignant effusion.
Malignant Tumor
A tumor made up of cancer cells of the type that can spread to other parts of the body.
Mammogram (Mammography)
A low-dose x-ray picture of the breasts to determine whether abnormal growths or cysts are present.
Mastectomy
The surgical removal of the breast. Segmental (Lumpectomy) Removal of the lump and a small amount of surrounding breast tissue. Simple (Modified Mastectomy) Removal of the entire breast. Radical Removal of the entire breast along with underlying muscle and lymph nodes of the armpit.
Margin
Edge of the tissue removed during surgery. A negative margin is a sign that no cancer was left behind. A positive margin indicates that cancer cells are found at the outer edge of tissue removed during surgery. It is usually a sign that some cancer remains in the body.
Median
Middle number in a series of numbers (for example median survival of 10 months means that for that specific group of patients the survival varied from probably 2 months to 30 months).
Mediastinoscopy (MEE-dee-a-stin-AHS-ko-pee)
A procedure in which a lighted tube is inserted into the chest to view the organs in the area between the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. The tube is inserted through an incision above the breastbone. This procedure is often performed to obtain a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the right side of the chest.
Mediastinum
Area of the thoracic cavity; the adjoining walls of the pleura partition between the lungs, and between the lungs and the lymph nodes that contains the heart.
Mediastinoscopy
A procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the organs in the area between the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. The tube is inserted through an incision above the breastbone. This procedure is usually performed to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the right side of the chest.
Medical Oncologist
A doctor who is specially trained to diagnose and treat cancer and who specializes in the use of chemotherapy and other drugs to treat cancer.
Melanoma
A cancer of the pigment-forming cells of the skin or the retina of the eye.
Meningitis
An inflammation of the meninges, the membrane that envelopes that encase the brain and spinal cord.
Mesenchymal Cell
A cell that forms the supporting tissue of an organ or blood vessel.
Mesoderm
The middle of the three germ layers in the embryo, giving rise to the musculoskeletal, blood, vascular and urinogenital systems. Also creates connective tissue (including that of dermis) and contributes to some glands.
Mesothelial Cell
Flat cell that forms the superficial layer of membranes lining the thoracic and abdominal cavities
Mesomark Test
A simple blood test, using an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) format, for the quantitative measurement of Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP) in human serum. SMRP is a biomarker produced by mesothelioma cells that can be elevated in the serum of patients suffering from mesothelioma.
Mesothelial Cells
Specialized cells forming a tissue called the mesothelium which lines the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the cavity around the heartand other organs in the body. These cells also cover the outer surface of most internal organs. The layer of cells is called.
Mesothelium Tissue
The general name for the layer of cells that comprise the membrane that lines the lungs, abdomen, heart.
Mesothelioma
A form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure that occurs in the sac lining of the chest (pleural mesothelioma) or abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), or the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Mesothelioma Cause
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure exists in almost all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite.
Mesothelioma Cystic (Cystic Mesothelioma; “CM”)
A rare and benign form of mesothelioma that develops on the peritoneum. The peritoneum is the thin membrane that lines the abdominal wall and surrounds the organs of the abdomen. This mesothelioma produces cysts within the abdominal cavity. Surgery to remove the cysts usually is effective in treating the symptoms. However, patients experience a high recurrence of cyst development. Although not cancer, this form of mesothelioma is a serious illness requiring long term monitoring and treatment.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Diagnosis typically begins with a sufferer's visit to the doctor complaining of chronic chest pain. This pain is caused as a result of a buildup of fluid inside the pleural space; this is called pleural effusion and is the most common presenting symptom of malignant mesothelioma. Preliminary mesothelioma detection can be achieved through a chest imagery scan (CT scan, x-ray); however, mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as viral pneumonia at this stage because of certain symptomatic similarities between the two. The only way to definitively verify a suspected case of malignant mesothelioma is through a biopsy.
Mesothelioma Doctors
Mesothelioma is typically treated by an interdisciplinary team of doctors rather than by a single physician. You may run into professionals called oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and pulmonologists.
Mesothelioma Drugs
There is no standard treatment used to treat mesothelioma and many different combinations of drugs are used.These combinations are sometimes called chemotherapy regimes or regimens.The chemotherapy drugs used include: Mitomycin Cisplatin Carboplatin Vinorelbine Gemcitabine Pemetrexed. A drug called raltitrexed (Tomudex) has also been tested for mesothelioma. Like pemetrexed, you usually have this in combination with cisplatin.
Mesothelioma Epithelial
Epithelial mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer affects the membrane lining the chest cavity, heart, lungs and abdominal cavity. There are three forms of epithelial mesothelioma the most common, pleural mesothelioma; the second most common, peritoneal mesothelioma (accounting for only a quarter of the cases) and the rarest form, pericardial mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Lawyer (Mesothelioma Attorney)
A lawyer who is an expert in asbestos cases. Choosing the right lawyer is key to recovering the maximum amount possible for your pain and suffering. The lawyer should be able to demonstrate success in securing settlements AND court victories; including winning appeals. Since virtually all large medical judgments are appealed, it is important to work with an attorney who has a successful appellate track record with or without outside help.
Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
Pleural mesothelioma – sometimes called “asbestos lung cancer” – is really not a form of lung cancer, but a cancer of the lining that surrounds the lung. A main difference between lung cancer and mesothelioma is that lung cancer is in the tissue of the lung. By contrast, pleural mesothelioma occurs in the lining around the lung.
Mesothelioma Medical Terms
Terms, words and acronyms used to discuss the medical implications, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma; the definitions of which are found herein.
Mesothelioma Nutrition
Mesothelioma patients are often counseled on the importance of diet to counteract the destructive effects of chemotherapy or certain medications. It is also important to eat as many calories as possible to avoid excessive weight loss. If patients lose too much weight, their body won’t be able to deal with the treatments as well. Side effects of mesothelioma treatments include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, altered sense of smell, altered sense of taste and constipation. Suggested cancer nutrition is often high in protein in order to promote tissue repair following surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Protein also strengthens the immune system. A balance of fats are also needed to provide energy during treatment, with an emphasis on good fats like fish and olive oil. Drinking plenty of water is also an essential part of the cancer diet. Patients will need customized diets to account for sex, age, treatment and weight.
Mesothelioma Research
There is always research going on in the area of mesothelioma. Scientists are looking for causes and ways to prevent mesothelioma. Doctors are working to improve accuracy of diagnosis and effectiveness of treatment. Despite recent progress, much remains to be learned about the best way to treat these cancers.
Mesothelioma Risk Factor
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure exists in almost all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite.
Mesothelioma Screening
If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical exam, paying particular attention to areas where you're experiencing pain. He or she checks for any lumps or other unusual signs. Your doctor may order other tests to determine the cause of your signs and symptoms, including Chest X-ray. X-rays may show abnormalities if you have pleural mesothelioma. Chest or abdominal CT scan. Computerized tomography (CT) may reveal abnormalities in your chest or abdomen if you have mesothelioma. It's not uncommon for mesothelioma to be misdiagnosed initially because mesothelioma is rare and its signs and symptoms aren't specific. Your doctor will likely rule out other more common conditions before considering mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Biopsy
A surgical procedure to remove a small portion of the mesothelium for laboratory examination. It is the only way to determine whether you have mesothelioma. Depending on what area of your body is affected, your doctor selects the right biopsy procedure for you. Options include Fine-needle aspiration. The doctor removes fluid or a piece of tissue with a small needle inserted into your chest or abdomen. Thoracoscopy. Thoracoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your chest. In this procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions between your ribs. He or she inserts a tube with a tiny video camera to see inside your chest cavity — a procedure sometimes called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Special surgical tools allow your surgeon to cut away a piece of tissue. Laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. Using one or more incisions into your abdomen, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera and special surgical tools to obtain a small piece of tissue for examination. Thoracotomy. Thoracotomy is surgery to open your chest to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing. Laparotomy. Laparotomy is surgery to open your abdomen to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing. Once the tissue sample has been collected through biopsy, the sample is analyzed under a microscope. This determines whether or not the abnormal tissue is mesothelioma. Biopsy samples also allow your doctor to test for the type of cells involved in your mesothelioma. The type of mesothelioma you have is used to determine your treatment plan. (Source Mayo Clinic; http//www.mayoclinic.com/health/mesothelioma/DS00779/DSECTION=6) (no hyperlink – text only)
Mesothelioma Staging
Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, your doctor orders other tests to determine the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread — a process called staging. Imaging procedures allow doctors to see inside your chest or abdomen to determine the stage of mesothelioma. Options include Chest X-ray CT scans of the chest and abdomen Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Mesothelioma Symptoms
Early symptoms of mesothelioma are generally non-specific, and may lead to a delay in diagnosis. Symptoms often resemble viral pneumonia or even the flu; pleural mesothelioma patients may have shortness of breath, chest pain and/or persistent cough; some patients show no symptoms at all. Later symptoms include pain, difficulty breathing and sever shortness of breath.
Mesothelioma Tissue
Consists of a single layer of flat cells lining the surface of serous membranes in the lungs and abdomen. Respiration of these cells is impaired by scar tissue (fibrosis).
Mesothelioma Treatment
There are three traditional kinds of treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma Surgery (taking out the cancer) Chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the cancer) Radiation Therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells) Often two or more of these are combined in the course of treatment.
Mesothelioma Types
Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Mesothelin
A protein attached to the cell surface that is thought to have a role in cell-adhesion and possibly in cell-to-cell recognition and signaling. Mesothelin is so named because it is made by mesothelial cells. Elevated mesothelin acts as a marker or sign of mesothelioma
Mesothelin Levels
Mesothelin is elevated in patients with mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The rapid decrease in mesothelin levels after surgery in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma suggests that serum mesothelin may be a useful test to monitor treatment response in mesothelin-expressing cancers.
Mesothelium
Tissue formed by specialized cells lining the chest, abdominal cavities and outer surface of most internal organs. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that helps organs by enabling them to move.
Metabolism (Adjective Metabolic)
The process of building the body's molecular structures from nutrients (anabolism) and breaking them down for energy (catabolism).
Metastases(s)/Metastasis
The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another. A tumor formed by cells that have spread is called a “metastatic tumor” or a “metastasis.” The metastatic tumor contains cells that are like those in the original (primary) tumor.
Metastatic Tumor
A malignant tumor that has spread from the place in which it started to other parts of the body.
Metastasize
When a cancerous growth invades a healthy organ or tissue from a diseased organ or tissue.
Methotrexate (MTX)
Formerly known as amethopterin, is an antimetabolite and antifolate drug used in treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. It acts by inhibiting the metabolism of folic acid. Methotrexate replaced the more powerful and toxic antifolate aminopterin, and the two should not be confused with each other.
Microbicide
An agent that inactivates, kills or destroys microbes.
Micrometastases
The spread of cancer cells in groups so small that they can only be seen under a microscope.
Microscope
An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects. The name microscope was coined by Johannes Faber (1574-1629) who in 1628 borrowed from the Greek to combined micro-, small with skopein, to view. Although the first microscopes were simple microscopes, most (if not all) optical microscopes today are compound microscopes.
Microsporidiosis
Infection with a protozoan parasite of the Microsporidia family (e.g., Enterocytozoan bieneusi, Septata intestinalis); the condition often causes diarrhea and weight loss.
Mitomycin C
Antimetabolite antineoplastic agent that works by interfering with normal DNA synthesis
Mixed Type Mesothelioma
Cancer involving the epithelial and mesenchymal cells of the mesothelium.
Molecularly Targeted Therapy
In cancer treatment, substances that kill cancer cells by targeting key molecules involved in cancer cell growth.
Monoclonal Antibody
Antibodies made in the laboratory and designed to target specific substances called antigens. Monoclonal antibodies which have been attached to chemotherapy drugs or radioactive substances are being studied to see if they can seek out antigens unique to cancer cells and deliver these treatments directly to the cancer, thus killing the cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Monoclonal antibodies are also used in other ways, for example, to help find and classify cancer cells.
Monocyte
A large white blood cell that plays a role in immune defense by acting as a scavenger that destroys invading microorganisms. Monocytes circulate in the bloodstream; when they migrate to the tissues, they mature into macrophages.
Mononeuritis
Inflammation of a single nerve.
Mononuclear Cell
A cell that has 1 nucleus, used to refer to a subset of white blood cells (e.g., lymphocytes, monocytes).
Monotherapy
Use of a single drug or other therapy.
Morbidity
A measure of the new cases of a disease in a population; the number of people who have a disease.
Morphology
The science of form and structure without regard to function.
Mortality
Aa measure of the rate of death from a disease within a given population.
Motion
An application, usually written, made to a judge asking for an order or ruling on a particular problem in a lawsuit.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
A sophisticated test that provides in-depth images of organs and structures in the body.
Mucinous Carcinoma
A type of carcinoma that is formed by mucus-producing cancer cells.
Mucosa (Mucous membranes) The lining of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
Mucositis
Inflammation of the lining of the mouth or gastrointestinal tract.
Mucous Carpet
The lining of the bronchial portion of the lungs. Its cells secrete mucus, which is swept through by cilia, removing the majority of inhaled particles. This material is then swallowed or spit out.
Multidisciplinary Treatment Of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
The incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is increasing worldwide, and is predicted to peak in the next 10-20 years. Difficulties in MPM diagnosis and staging, especially of early disease, have thwarted the development of a universally accepted therapeutic approach. Single modality therapies (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy) have generally failed to significantly prolong patient survival. As a result, multimodality treatment regimens have been developed. Radical surgery with extrapleural pneumonectomy and adjuvant treatments has become the preferred option in early disease, but the benefits of such an aggressive approach have been questioned because of significant treatment-related morbidity and mortality. In the past few years, there have been several major advances in the management of patients with MPM, including more accurate staging and patient selection, improvements in surgical techniques and postoperative care, novel chemotherapy regimens with definite activity such as antifolate (pemetrexed or raltitrexed)-platinum combinations, and new radiotherapy techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Induction chemotherapy followed by surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy has shown promising results. A number of molecular alterations occurring in MPM have been reported, providing broader insights into its biology and leading to the identification of new targets for therapy. However, currently available treatments still appear to have modest results. Further studies are needed to provide evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of early and advanced stages of this disease. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Multimodal Therapy
Using more than one treatment to attack mesothelioma cells.
Multimodality Therapy
Any combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy is multimodality therapy. For example, researchers have combined surgery with intracavitary radiation or chemotherapy and then administered radiation or chemotherapy afterward.
Multimodality Treatment
Therapy that combines more than one method of treatment.
Multi-Targeted Antifolate (MTA)
Antineoplastic agent that inhibits the action of many enzymes
Muscle
Muscle is the tissue of the body that primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called "skeletal muscle." Heart muscle is called "cardiac muscle." Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called "smooth muscle."
Metabolite
A by-product of the breakdown of either food or medication by the body.
Mutagen
A substance that causes mutations (genetic damage).
Mutation
A change (damage) to the DNA, genes, or chromosomes of living organisms.
MVV (Maximal Voluntary Ventilation)
A measurement of lung function.
Myalgia
Muscle pain.
Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC)
A disease caused by Mycobacterium avium or Mycobacterium intracellulare, bacteria found in soil and water. In immunosuppressed persons, the bacteria can infect lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, spleen, spinal fluid, lungs and the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include diarrhea, wasting, fever, fatigue and spleen enlargement.
Myelogram
An x-ray procedure by which a dye is injected into the spinal column to show any pathology of the spinal cord.
Myeloma
A malignant tumor of the bone marrow associated with the production of abnormal proteins.
Myelosuppression
A decrease in the production of red blood cells, platelets, and some white blood cells by the bone marrow

Disclaimer: Mesothelioma Help Center’s Dictionary of Legal & Medical Terms is not designed to provide medical advice or professional services and is intended to be for educational use only. The information provided through Mesothelioma Help Center is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. If you have, or suspect you may have, a health problem you should consult your doctor. If you need legal help you should consult an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.

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Mesothelioma Symptoms

The most common Mesothelioma symptoms are the following:

Recent onset of shortness of breath (31%)
Recent increase in shortness of breath (30%)
Chest pain (43%)
 
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