What Do You Think Is Mesothelioma?
When you hear the word “cancer,” what comes to mind? Is it a scar or needle, perhaps? You probably don’t think of cancer as something that happens to your clothes and shoes.
Mesothelioma is also called “squamous cell carcinoma.” It is a rare type of cancer, occurring mostly in people with jobs that expose them to asbestos, a substance that was once the industry standard. Even if you were not directly exposed to asbestos, there is still a risk that you will get mesothelioma. Workers at factories, mines, and oil refineries frequently come into contact with asbestos. An estimated 6% of all cancer cases today can be traced back to working in an asbestos-contaminated environment.
Since there are specific mesothelioma types, doctors can treat the disease based on symptoms, location, and age. Also, because this cancer is so rarely fatal, there is no guaranteed way to know whether you will get it.
The most common symptoms are weight loss, fatigue, and shortness of breath. You may also have difficulty breathing, but you may not experience any other symptoms until years later. Some of the symptoms include:
If you develop symptoms, don’t try to treat the problem on your own. Get a physician’s advice about what you can do next. If you are unable to get a diagnosis through physical exam or symptoms alone, you should consider seeing a doctor who specializes in diagnosing cancer in its early stages.
Lung cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and lymphoma often show symptoms before developing into the more serious cancer stages. With mesothelioma, however, it is a little bit trickier. The symptoms often don’t manifest right away and it is important to catch them when they start to surface.
If you feel you might have the condition, avoid stress as much as possible. Learn how to manage your workload. Although mesothelioma often comes out with no warning, if you are suspicious that you have it, see your doctor immediately.
Because lung cancer and mesothelioma are so rare, it is difficult to predict how long your case of mesothelioma will take to go away. But if you get diagnosed with mesothelioma, the sooner you get treatment, the better.
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