Mesothelioma Survivor: The Impact of a Weakened Immune System

Thank you for joining us on this journey of understanding more about the impact of a weakened immune system on mesothelioma survivors. In this article, we will explore the topic in-depth, providing comprehensive information on the various aspects that influence the immune system, especially for mesothelioma patients.

The Human Immune System

The human immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, organs, and molecules that work together to defend the body against invading pathogens, viruses, and other foreign substances. It has several essential components, including white blood cells (leukocytes), lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus gland.

The immune system is responsible for recognizing, neutralizing, and eliminating harmful microorganisms and cancer cells. When a foreign substance enters the body, it undergoes a process called antigen presentation, where the immune cells identify and destroy the invader. The immune response is divided into two main categories: the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response.

Component Function
Bone Marrow Production of blood cells and immune cells
Spleen Filtration of blood and activation of immune cells
Thymus Gland Maturation of T cells
Lymph Nodes Filtration of lymph and activation of immune cells

Mesothelioma and Immune System

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in commercial products before its toxicity was discovered. Mesothelioma is difficult to detect and diagnose early, and most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Given the aggressive nature of mesothelioma, it can have a significant impact on the immune system. The cancer cells can weaken the immune response by producing cytokines and other proteins that suppress immune function. Additionally, mesothelioma treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can further compromise the immune system, making patients more susceptible to infections and other complications.

How Does Mesothelioma Weaken The Immune System?

Mesothelioma can weaken the immune system in various ways:

  • By producing cytokines: Mesothelioma cells can produce cytokines, which are proteins that regulate immune function. Some cytokines can suppress immune function, making it difficult for the immune system to fight off infections.
  • By causing inflammation: Mesothelioma can cause inflammation in the body, which can weaken the immune system over time. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for several diseases, including cancer, and can impair immune function.
  • By compromising the bone marrow: Mesothelioma can affect the bone marrow, reducing the production of white blood cells that are essential for fighting infections.
  • By affecting lymphatic drainage: Mesothelioma can affect the lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering and draining fluids in the body. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in immune function, and its disruption can impair the body’s ability to fight off infections.

FAQs About Mesothelioma Survivor and Weakened Immune System

Q1: What is Mesothelioma?

A1: Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.

Q2: What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?

A2: The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on which part of the body is affected. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

Q3: How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?

A3: Mesothelioma is diagnosed using imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, as well as a biopsy, which involves the removal of tissue for examination under a microscope.

Q4: Is Mesothelioma curable?

A4: There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but treatment options, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, can help manage symptoms and prolong survival.

Q5: Can Mesothelioma affect the immune system?

A5: Yes, mesothelioma can weaken the immune system in several ways, including by suppressing immune function, causing inflammation, and compromising bone marrow production.

Q6: Can Mesothelioma treatment affect the immune system?

A6: Yes, mesothelioma treatment can compromise the immune system, making patients more susceptible to infections and other complications.

Q7: Can a weakened immune system impact Mesothelioma survival?

A7: Yes, a weakened immune system can impact mesothelioma survival by increasing the risk of infections and other complications, and potentially reducing the effectiveness of treatment.


The impact of a weakened immune system on mesothelioma survivors cannot be overstated. It can affect their quality of life, increase the risk of complications, and impact their overall survival. As we have seen, mesothelioma can weaken the immune system through various mechanisms, and mesothelioma treatment can further compromise it.

It is essential for patients to work closely with their healthcare team to manage their symptoms and maintain their immune function. This can include following a healthy diet, getting enough rest and exercise, and avoiding exposure to infections. It is also important for mesothelioma patients to stay informed about their condition and explore all available treatment options.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on mesothelioma survivor weakened immune system. It is our hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights into the impact of mesothelioma on the immune system and how patients can manage their symptoms and maintain their health. If you or someone you know has been affected by mesothelioma, we encourage you to seek professional medical advice and support.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice or replace consultation with a qualified healthcare provider. The information presented here should not be used to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plan or lifestyle.