The Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
When most people think of mesothelioma, they think of a malignant tumor that has developed in the lining of an individual’s organs, most commonly the lungs. Doctors divide mesothelioma into various types depending again on where the mesothelioma is affected. Pleural mesothelioma, the biggest kind, usually affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (Pleura). This kind is also known as pleural mesothelioma-stem.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos in the lungs, generally from a job with asbestos in asbestos clothing. This is the second most common form of mesothelioma and the symptoms associated with it include abdominal pain, vomiting and weight loss. A person with this type of mesothelioma will have difficulty breathing and might even start having pericardial heart attacks. It is with this type of mesothelioma that doctors see an increased risk of pleural mesothelioma, which can spread to the heart or lungs, and the last is a pleural effusion, which is a tube-like lump in the chest caused by fluid build up. Having any of these three types of mesothelioma increases a person’s risk of developing cancer.
With this said, mesothelioma patients are often offered a long term treatment option, however, there are some who are offered a life expectancy as low as four months. One reason for the short life expectancy of mesothelioma patients is the fact that treatment often involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and psychological therapy. There is also a need for immunosuppressive drugs to control the immune system during treatment. Due to these factors, mesothelioma life expectancy can be improved by combining drug therapy with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
As noted above, there are many different symptoms and signs that can occur in patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and there are also different ways that the disease can develop. There are signs and symptoms that can develop prior to the development of cancer, and then again, symptoms can spring up later once the cancer has manifested itself. Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on the location of the mesothelioma, as well as the extent of the damage that has occurred. Some of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are: difficulty breathing, coughing, unexplained weight loss, pain in the rib cage area, swelling of the lymph nodes and swelling of the abdomen. These symptoms can also appear in individuals who have undergone radiation therapy to the mesothelioma, although the cancer is not as advanced in these individuals.
It’s important to remember that mesothelioma isn’t usually a killer, but it certainly can be extremely serious if left untreated or discovered late. Mesothelioma is a cancer that begins in the lining of an individual’s internal organs such as the chest cavity, abdomen, heart and lungs. Once the cancer takes hold, it can spread rapidly throughout the body and affect many different functions. Because of the many different types of mesothelioma treatments available today, many people who are diagnosed with this disease are able to live several years past their diagnosis, if they receive timely treatment. It’s always important to consult your doctor regarding the best course of action when it comes to treatment.
In addition to the many symptoms and signs that can appear in individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are also some common signs and symptoms associated with this disease. Some of the most common include unexplained weight loss, abdominal swelling, pain in the upper right quadrant of the chest, unexplained fever, constant headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting and unexplained hair loss. If you’ve been diagnosed with this disease, the good news is that with the advances in medical technology today, many of these signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can be detected early. Although there is no cure for this deadly disease, there are many different ways to treat it so that it doesn’t progress.