How Long After Mesothelioma Has Been Diagnosed Will You Be Able to Get the Medical Treatment You Need?
Mesothelioma is a very serious and aggressive form of cancer. This form of cancer affects the mesothelioma cell itself. Most people who contract mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. For those individuals with mesothelioma, treatments available are limited, and for some patients, a complete cure is not possible.
Different types of mesothelioma depend on what part of the mesothelioma is infected. The three main types are pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs and heart, peritoneal mesothelioma, which affect the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma which affect the heart and abdominal organs. Each type of mesothelioma has different symptoms and signs to look out for. Mesothelioma symptoms and signs include persistent coughing with or without breath, difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain, and swelling of the abdomen, face, or neck. These symptoms may appear at any time of the year, and they can be present on several different occasions. Signs of this cancer often develop slowly over a period of years and can develop in the individual’s body for decades.
There are several factors that may increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. People who have a family history of this disease are at a greater risk, as are people who work with asbestos on a regular basis, such as those who are involved in the construction field. Other risk factors include being male, having a younger age between 20 and 50, and being an African American. However, these factors may not always point to current or future cancer of the mesothelioma. Sometimes, these factors may point to exposure to asbestos as a child, yet the person shows no signs of cancer years later.
Many doctors believe that there is a correlation between long term exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma. The fibers home in the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring over time. If you work in an office where asbestos may have been used, it is important to notify your employer immediately after discovering you have this condition.
People who have a weakened immune system, such as HIV or AIDS patients, or individuals undergoing chemotherapy are at a greater risk of developing this type of cancer. Those who suffer from chronic illness, such as cancer of the colon, lungs, kidney, bladder, pancreas, or prostate are also at an increased risk. People who smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products are also at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Men and women who undergo surgery are also at a higher risk of mesothelioma.
As of this writing, mesothelioma patients who have lived with their diagnosis for over two years are considered to be in the early stages of the cancer. Unfortunately, this short amount of time does not give you enough time to plan your treatment options and obtain the best possible result. While you can do your research on the internet, it is important to understand that the information you are gathering is not accurate. Physicians and other medical experts strongly encourage patients to get a definitive diagnosis from a specialized doctor before proceeding. Once you have reached this step, your doctor can then discuss your treatment options with you and help you determine your best path forward.