Sabtu, 16 April 2011

Early Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that many people are not even aware they may have. The symptoms are very subtle in the beginning and may go unnoticed. Some people experience no symptoms at all. This can lead to mesothelioma being left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for several years. It is imperative that a person seek out medical attention at the first signs of mesothelioma. If the mesothelioma is left undiagnosed and untreated, the cancer can spread throughout the body.

Latency Period

This particular type of cancer can lay dormant for up to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. If a person knows they have been exposed to asbestos it is important to relay that information to a doctor. The doctor will most likely schedule regular mesothelioma screenings. Asbestos exposure is directly related to the onset of mesothelioma. Even a brief exposure to asbestos can result in mesothelioma. A doctor will monitor the lungs closely to watch for any signs of the disease. A person has a higher rate of survival if the cancer is caught in its earliest stages. The highest rates of survival are best if caught before symptoms even begin to develop.

Basic Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Early symptoms of mesothelioma are generally shortness of breath and a heavy feeling in the chest area. Ninety percent of all patients will notice these two symptoms. However, because the symptoms do not seem serious many choose not to seek out medical care. The shortness of breath or heaviness is caused by a fluid buildup in the lungs. These two symptoms should be taken seriously, especially if a person has a history of asbestos exposure.

Types of Mesothelioma

The lung or chest area is the most common place for mesothelioma to occur. This type is referred to as pleural mesothelioma. The abdominal cavity is also prone to develop mesothelioma. Any tumor found in that area is referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. The symptoms associated with the different types of mesothelioma are similar and may overlap each other. Pericardial mesothelioma involves the lining around the heart.

Additional Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Some symptoms common with pleural mesothelioma include back, chest or side pain, difficulty swallowing, cough, fatigue and weight loss. Peritoneal mesothelioma is often accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, back pain, anemia and bowel obstruction. Both types of mesothelioma may leave a person feeling very weak. It is extremely important a person visits their doctor if they notice any of these symptoms. The longer mesothelioma is allowed to go untreated the less favorablethe outcome.

Similar Diseases and Illnesses

Any of the earlier mentioned symptoms can also indicate asbestosis, which is abenign result of asbestos exposure. However, an asbestosis diagnosis does not mean a person will not develop mesothelioma later. It is crucial a person has their symptoms evaluated to determine whether or not they are benign or malignant. Asbestosis will need to be closely monitored as well just in case it becomes malignant and can pose serious health concerns.

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