What is Mesothelioma?
Symptoms and signs of mesothelioma can vary significantly based on where on the body the cancer is. Pleural mesothelioma, that affects the tissue around the lungs, usually produces symptoms and signs that will include: chest pain. Shortness of breath. Unexplained weight gain. Lumps and swelling in the chest region.
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients, on the other hand, will typically suffer from symptoms such as: abdominal pain. Shortness of Breath. Unexplained fever. These symptoms, however, may also be caused by numerous other conditions, so it’s important to visit a doctor to determine the exact cause of the breathlessness.
The fourth stage of mesothelioma cell type, the peritoneal mesothelioma patients’ stage, is the least common. The average survival time is between one and two years, but this is dependent upon many factors. Factors such as the location of the cancer cells or their size will influence the survival time frame. Factors like whether the tumor was malignant or not will also affect survival. The final stage, the metastatic cell type, is the most dangerous of all for patients with mesothelioma.
Pericardial mesothelioma accounts for approximately ten percent of all mesothelioma cancers. This form is different from pleural mesothelioma types and peritoneal ones in that it affects the lining that surrounds and protects the heart. There are three subtypes of pericardial mesothelioma: pleural pericardial mesothelioma accounts for ten percent of the disease, pericardial mesothelioma esophageal cancer accounts for about five percent and pericardial mesothelioma sternum accounts for about thirty percent. Some of the symptoms may not show up until more advanced stages. If the disease is caught at an early stage, the patient has a good prognosis. However, if the disease is left unchecked, it can pose a significant risk to survival.
Chemotherapy is the most effective treatment for most patients with all types of mesothelioma. The medications used in chemotherapy have been known to affect the immune system and improve overall health. When given along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy is the most effective form of treatment for most patients. The median survival time after treatment can increase from about two to about four years, but this depends on the type of tumor and its severity.
After staging the tumors at stage one, staging them at stage three or at stage four will provide additional improvements in the patient’s quality of life and overall health. Staging tumors at stage four allows doctors to monitor the patient more closely and to look for further symptoms. With this extra care, the median survival time after staging the tumors increases dramatically. This is due to fewer complications occurring as time passes by. Overall, survival after staging is greatly improved when additional treatments are added to the treatment plan.