A mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can move very quickly through the tissues that cover your internal organs. Multiple treatment options are used to treat cases that are caught in the earliest stages. Some cases, however, cannot be treated successfully. Many patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos decades before, not realizing the effect it would have on their body later on in life.
Causes of Mesothelioma
One of the most common causes of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. For many years, asbestos was used in many different industries. The longer a person is exposed to asbestos and other carcinogens, the higher their risk of being diagnosed with mesothelioma or other forms of cancer. Even radiation treatments that are used to slow down other types of cancer can also increase your risk of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The type of mesothelioma you have will determine the symptoms you experience. Pleural mesothelioma that occurs in the lungs is characterized by chest pain, lumps in the tissues of the chest, night sweats, shortness of breath, and coughing that are sometimes painful. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdomen. Symptoms associated with this type of cancer include abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss, and swelling of the abdomen. Any type of pain in the chest or abdomen is cause for concern, especially if there are no other signs or symptoms.
When You Should See Your Doctor
Many of the symptoms associated with mesothelioma are indicative of other illnesses as well. If symptoms become persistent or the pain and discomfort start to affect your quality of life, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Catching mesothelioma in the earliest stages is the best hope for beating the disease. Anytime symptoms persist for more than one or two weeks, it’s a sign of an ongoing problem. Seeking medical attention quickly gives you more options for treatment and a higher chance of survival.
Mesothelioma symptoms will vary from person to person. Ranging from mild to severe, the symptoms may take months, or even years to begin to appear. If you or a loved one ever experienced long-term exposure to asbestos, go to the doctor and get a thorough physical examination. The doctor may be able to identify risk factors that can be treated prior to symptoms appearing. Be mindful of any physical changes in your body and monitor symptoms as they appear. Discuss your risks with your doctor and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.