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What are the symptoms of mesothelioma? Causes and Treatment of mesothelioma

What We Should Know About Mesothelioma Cancer?


The Asbestos Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor/cancer (malignant means it can metastasize (spread) and affect in other parts of the body) that develops in the cells of mesothelium. It usually develops in the lining of lungs (pleural mesothelioma) or the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).

The cancer is severe, has a poor prognosis and cannot be cured.

Malignant mesothelioma is rare and caused by asbestos that develops on the thin protective tissues cover the lungs and abdomen area.

What Is Mesothelium?

what is mesothelioma

In this article we are covering:

  • What is mesothelioma asbestos cancer?
  • What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
  • What is malignant mesothelioma?
  • What causes mesothelioma cancer?
  • What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
  • What are the types of lung cancer mesothelioma?
  • What kind of treatment of mesothelioma are effective?
  • What kind of treatment for mesothelioma lung cancer are commonly used?
  • What are the latest developments in the treatment of mesothelioma?
  • What should we know about Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer:

How does Asbestos develop mesothelioma cancer?

Asbestos is considered the prime cause of developing mesothelioma. About 70-80% of people with mesothelioma are exposed to asbestos at work. In most cases, people exposed to asbestos in their workplaces, such as workshops, industrial areas, auto repair shops, old houses, shipyards, schools and public buildings.


Usually, long-term exposure can put someone at risk, however, short-term and one-time exposure can also cause cancer.

causes of mesothelioma
causes of mesothelioma

 

Asbestos can develop when different activities (work related activities) disturb asbestos-containing materials, and they release fibers into the air. When a person inhales or swallows these materials (microscopic fibers), our bodies tries hard to discard them.

However, over the period these materials get accumulated inside the body and trigger biological changes that can cause inflammation, genetic damage and scarring that may lead to cancer.

What is latency period?

The period from asbestos exposure to diagnoses of cancer is known as the latency period.

What are different types of mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is divided into different names depending which part gets affected by it.

–    Pleura:

The mesothelium that protects the lungs is called pleura.

–    Visceral pleura:

The inner layer that covers the lining of lungs is called visceral pleura.

–    Parietal Pleura:

The outer layer that protects the inside wall of the chest is called parietal pleura.

malignant mesothelioma

What Happen When Asbestos Fibers Get Trapped Inside the Body?

–    When asbestos fibers get trapped inside the lining of the lungs, the situation is called pleura.

–    The accumulation may happen inside the lining of the abdominal cavity ad heart called peritoneum and pericardium respectively.



–    When these fibers cause biological damage, the stage is set for the decades-long latency period (diagnoses) for the development of malignant mesothelioma.

Symptoms:

  • What are the most common symptoms of mesothelioma?
  • What are the advanced symptoms of mesothelioma?
  • What are the common symptoms for each type of mesothelioma?
  • How to detect symptoms of mesothelioma at early stages?
  • Why is it difficult to diagnose mesothelioma symptoms at early stages?
  • Why most cases of mesothelioma are misdiagnosed?
  • What are the common symptoms of mesothelioma?

What are the most common symptoms of mesothelioma?

Initial symptoms of mesothelioma are more likely to be caused by other medical conditions. So, many people ignore them considering them minor diseases. People with mesothelioma have symptoms of the illness for at least a few months before they are diagnosed.

How asbestos develope cancer

Some of the commonly known symptoms of mesothelioma are:
• Chest pain or trouble breathing
• Anemia
• Vomiting or nausea
• Weight loss
• Chronic Pain near tumor
• Dry cough
• Bowel obstruction or Effusion (buildup of fluid) in the lungs or abdomen
Mesothelioma symptoms are mild initially, and only a few people notice them, while many take them as minor diseases and avoid visiting a doctor. However, severe symptoms like chronic pain near the tumor, weight loss, fatigue and other symptoms become noticeable at last stages which make people visit their doctor. At initial stages, effective therapies and some treatments such as talc pleurodesis can prevent symptoms recurrence.

What Are the Symptoms of Advanced Mesothelioma?

Or what are the symptoms that indicate mesothelioma has spread?

When the mesothelioma cancer reaches its advanced stage, it starts showing different symptoms. However, these symptoms do not appear at the affected area.

The symptoms of advanced mesothelioma are:

  • Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
  • Laryngeal nerve palsy or hoarseness
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome or obstruction (partial closeness) of the vein that returns blood from the upper body to the heart.
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar
  • Nerve Involvement of the arm
  • Horner’s syndrome or nerve damage to face

Common symptoms of different types of mesothelioma:

What Are the Symptoms of Each Type of Mesothelioma?

There are four different types of mesothelioma named after cancer affected area:

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms:

These are the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, such as:

  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Hoarsens (harsh breathing sounds)
  • Reduced chest expansion
  • Wheezing, dry cough or coughing up blood
  • Pleural Effusions
  • Body Aches or Blood Clotting Disorders

*What is pleural effusion?

An increased amount of fluid around the lung is called pleural effusion (pleura is a thin membrane that lines the surface of the lung and the inside of the chest wall). Different medical conditions that can cause fluid production, so even the fluid is fetched out, but still, your doctor will go with some other medical tests to understand the real reason even after the fluid is drained.

*What is normal pleura functioning?

In normal conditions, only one teaspoon of watery fluid is present inside the pleural space. The purpose of this fluid is to allow lungs to move smoothly within the chest cavity during breathing.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms:

Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the thin lining covering the abdominal cavity and causes estimated 20% of cases, has symptoms like:

  • Loss of appetite causing weight loss
  • Abdominal hernias
  • Abdominal distention or pelvic mass
  • Swelling/tenderness of abdominal area
  • Fatigue
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Abdominal fluid buildup
  • Stomach pain

Signs like stomach pain, abdominal swelling or tenderness, fatigue or feeling of fullness are considered the warning signs that cancer has spread beyond the original location.

Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms:

Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the lining covering the heart; this is the rarest kind of cancer. It has similar symptoms to pleural mesotheliomas, such as

  • Problem in breathing
  • severe chest pain

Testicular mesothelioma symptoms:

Testicular mesothelioma has the rarest occurrence among other types, and only a few cases are registered for this type of mesothelioma.

The only symptom testicular mesothelioma has a lump in the testes.

How much time mesothelioma symptoms take to emerge?

Unlike many other forms of cancer, mesothelioma or other asbestos cancer symptoms develop gradually. Most of the symptoms are so common that they are mistakenly taken as other disorders.

These symptoms are so common that they become unnoticeable for people until 20 to 50 years after getting exposed to asbestos. All of mesothelioma cancer types takes decades to emerge and symptoms do not make any impact on affected person’s health. These symptoms only get noticeable when the tumors have already started to spread.

Most people who have mesothelioma get diagnosed at late stages III and IV.

Mesothelioma diagnosis:

Mesothelioma diagnosis is a lengthy, complicated and mostly frustrating process for patients. However, diagnosing mesothelioma symptoms as early as possible is key to having the best possible result. It is advised to patients to consult a doctor or panel of doctors specializes in mesothelioma. Because mesothelioma symptoms are often misdiagnosed as its symptoms are similar to other ailments.

To diagnose the disease properly, doctors conducts various types of tests and thoroughly analyze the symptoms of the patients.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of mesothelioma symptoms is a complicates and frustrating process – however, diagnosing mesothelioma symptoms as early as possible is key to having the best possible result. It is advised to patients to consult a doctor or panel of doctors specializes in mesothelioma. Because mesothelioma symptoms are often misdiagnosed as its symptoms are similar to other ailments.

To diagnose the disease properly, doctors conducts various types of tests and thoroughly analyze the symptoms of the patients.

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to diagnose mesothelioma symptoms, many tests and tools are used to accurately confirm mesothelioma:

  •    Blood tests
  •    imaging tests
  •    Biopsies

The reason behind conducting multiple tests is that there is no clear path to mesothelioma diagnosis – because the disease is rare and have very common symptoms, doctors mostly confuse it with a different type of cancer. It is often recommended that people with asbestos exposure should remain watchful for the symptoms, and when they see some abnormality, they should report the doctor.

  • How do you know you have mesothelioma cancer?
  • How do you know that your asbestos exposure has caused you mesothelioma?
  • Can you be tested for asbestos exposure?
  • What you should know about mesothelioma diagnosis?
  • How mesothelioma diagnosis process starts?
  • Why everyone with asbestos exposure should consider a visit to oncologist?
  • Can you survive pleural mesothelioma?
  • What are the three most important steps in mesothelioma diagnosis?

What Are The Steps Involved In Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

Diagnosing cancer at its very early stage can provide a wider range of treatment possibilities to the patients that could extend their life expectancy. The diagnosis process may take two to three months as it involves various types of blood tests, X-ray, biopsies, MRIs, CT scans and PET scans. Each of the tests is conducted by a different medical professional.

There are three most important steps involved in mesothelioma diagnosis:

  • Primary symptoms begin to show
  • Primary care physician checkup & consultation
  • Final diagnosis

Symptoms Begin to Show:

Detection of mesothelioma symptoms generally take 20-50 years after exposure. Generally, all its symptoms are observed and treated as symptoms of some other disease.

Primary care physician checkup & consultation:

Once patient spot some serious or painful symptoms they consult a general physician about them. The physician performs preliminary tests to make some clear diagnosis. If cancer suspect, they refer the patient to an oncologist.

Final diagnosis:

An oncologist conduct series of tests based on patient’s health. Tests may include blood tests, imaging scans and biopsies to confirm mesothelioma cancer.

  • How long is mesothelioma diagnosis process?
  • What is differential diagnosis for mesothelioma?

Steps involved in complete diagnostic process:

Diagnosing cancer at its early stage can provide a wider range of treatment options to the patients that could extend their life expectancy. The diagnosis process may take two to three months as it involves various types of blood tests, X-ray, biopsies, MRIs, CT scans and PET scans. Each of the tests is conducted by different medical professionals.

The whole diagnosis process consists of following steps:

  1. Medical history and physical exam
  2. Imaging tests
  3. Chest X-ray
  4. Computed tomography (CT) scan
  5. Echocardiogram
  6. Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  7. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  8. Blood tests
  9. Biopsy
  10. Pulmonary function tests

Livehealthyalways conclusion:

Asbestos mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed until it advances to a serious level, so it is advised to go through proper scan especially if you are exposed to asbestos.

*The article above is for information only and you should always consult your doctor or physician for advice before making any lifestyle or medical changes.

 

 

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