Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs.
The most common sites for this disease are as follows:
- Pleura – Outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall
- Peritoneum – The lining of the abdominal cavity,
- Pericardium – The sac that surrounds the heart
- Tunica Vaginalis – The membrane covering the testis
People who develop Mesothelioma have worked in job locations where they inhaled asbestos particles or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber. Research also suggests that people who are working in close association with those handling asbestos are also at risk of developing this disease. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between Mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases risk of other asbestos-induced cancer.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. The symptoms are as follows:
- Shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall)
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Wheezing and hoarseness in throat
- Blood in the fluid coughed
In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:
- Blood clots in the veins
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation: a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
- Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Low blood sugar level
- Pleural effusion
- Pulmonary emboli or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
- Severe ascites that is an accumulation of fluid within the two membranes that separate the organs in the abdominal cavity from the abdominal wall.
Diagnosing Mesothelioma is often tricky because the symptoms are similar to those of a numerous other conditions. In most of the cases, diagnosis begins with a review of the patient’s medical history to gauge whether the patient has been exposed to asbestos or not. In order to better gauge the severity of a patient’s exposure to asbestos, a physical examination is performed followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. If the X-ray reveals pleural thickening, which is commonly seen after asbestos exposure increases the suspicion of Mesothelioma in the patient.
To confirm this suspicion, a CT or MRI scan is scan is conducted. If the scan confirms deposition of fluid in the lungs then the fluid is extracted and a biopsy is conducted for tissue sample from this fluid. Once the biopsy confirms the presence of malignant cells in the body the diagnosis of Mesothelioma is complete
During early stages of malignant Mesothelioma, a treatment using conventional therapies in combination with radiation or chemotherapy has proved to be successful in more than 75% of cases. These treatments have helped in extending the patient’s life span by five years or more that is the cancer has gone into remission as a result of these treatments. Surgery which was proved to be helpful in alleviating the effects of many other forms of cancer has largely proved to be ineffective in treatment of Mesothelioma.
Asbestos – Primary cause of Pleural Mesothelioma
Asbestos is considered to be the main cause of Pleural Mesothelioma that is Mesothelioma of lungs, commonly known as “asbestos lung cancer”. Asbestos is a natural fiber, when released into the air. It can be inhaled or swallowed. It does not contain any smell or taste. These fibers are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye. Asbestos fibers get stuck in the lungs, abdomen, other body tissues, and, leads to development of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. There is a long duration between asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma. Decades may pass after a person’s first exposure to asbestos before he or she falls ill.
Chrysotile is a kind of asbestos and was widely used in the United States as an inevitable building material. According to “Asbestos Building Inspectors Manual”, Chrysotile accounts to 95% of approximate usage of asbestos in the United States buildings.
Mesothelioma Respects No Boundaries
“Asbestosis” is another common disease caused due to exposure of asbestos. It is an occupational disease and is most often seen in insulators, boilermakers, andworkers employed in trades that involve substantial exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma, is also caused by asbestos exposure, but does not respect such boundaries.
People who work directly with or around asbestos are at a higher risk of contracting mesothelioma but very brief or low level exposures can trigger the development of mesothelioma.
The term “household exposure” is used to explain how workers’, spouses, and children are exposed to asbestos. Workers travel home carrying asbestos, in their hair and clothes. Housewives are exposed to mesothelioma disease by merely washing clothes containing traces of asbestos. Some develop mesothelioma simply because they work in a school, hospital or buildings in which asbestos was used.
In spite of the known health risks caused due to asbestos exposure the use of asbestos is still rising in some parts of the world.
Widespread Use of Asbestos
Asbestos is inevitable part of the following industries:
- Construction and Engineering – For creating mighty structures asbestos is useful. It is used in roof tiles, floor tiles, geysers, pipe insulation, firebrick, window, caulking, duct connections, and fire proof insulation sprays. It is also utilized to strengthen the concrete pillars.
- Shipping- It is utilized to strengthen the concrete pillars and insulation around boilers. It is added in cement mixtures to solidify and reinforce it.
- Auto– Asbestos is used in the auto industry. The vehicle manufacturers make extensive use of asbestos due to its numerous qualities. It has high insulation and tensile strength. A naturally occurring light mineral, it is fire and heat resistant as well. That is the reason why asbestos is used in brake and accelerator pedals, brake pads, clutches, and brake drums.
Ban on Asbestos
Strict measures are being taken by government lobbies to ban asbestos laden products in countries such as Canada, UK, South Africa, and USA. Demands are approaching in the form of outright bans, phasing out, placing of stringent rules and limited usage. Despite persistent calls and known hazards of asbestos these measures will be unsuccessful because of the huge amounts of money involved.
Asbestos The Main Source Of Mesothelioma Cancer
About 80% of all Mesothelioma patients have a history of exposure to asbestos. Most of the patients were employed in an industry that involved the use of asbestos in some fashion. As well as direct occupational exposure, indirect exposure of family members is not uncommon. An exposed individual can carry the asbestos particles on their clothing, skin, and in their hair when they return home and this is referred to as para-occupational exposure.
Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the year 1800.The risk of asbestos-related disease increase with heavy and long duration exposure to asbestos. However, some individuals with low exposure have developed Mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.
At Risk Jobs and Locations
Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause Mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer. Low exposure levels of the tiny fibers or asbestos dust are very dangerous. After the 1980’s workplace exposure, asbestos became rare but to identify the disease one might take up to 40 years to notice for signs of Mesothelioma asbestos lung cancer.
Many patients were exposed to asbestos fibers in their workplace that is known as occupational exposure. Another form of exposure is called Para occupational exposure. This form of asbestos exposure can be hard to determine the source but is usually contracted by a family member who has been exposed in the workplace.
If the family member is exposed to asbestos dust or fibers from the worker’s clothing, they are exposed to dust released and inhaled from workers clothing. Family members that are exposed in this way, may be exposed to smaller amounts of asbestos, but are still at risk.
In the same way, people who have houses or work location that are exposed to asbestos may also be at risk even though there is no direct contact. The fine asbestos dust is easily be carried by the wind over long distances.
In the past, some of the industries that could have been a source of asbestos were factories, shipyards, power plants, oil refineries, steel manufacturing plants, and any company or job site involved with construction or the removal of old building materials. Often the demolition of buildings that contain asbestos can release the dust into the environment, and trucks hauling the materials can further spread fine asbestos fibers.
Likewise, people who live near these types of sites are likely to have asbestos are also at peril. Refineries along with power plants, steel mills, factories, shipyards, and building demolition are the kinds of work sites which release asbestos fibers into the surroundings and pollute nearby residential neighborhoods.
Asbestos in today’s world
Worldwide, 60 countries (including those in the European Union) have banned the use of asbestos completely or partially. For example USA, Australia, UK, Canada, France, Brazil. Asbestos have vast usage in construction, shipbuilding, and automobile sector. Because of high monetary involvement, use of asbestos cannot be completely curbed but can surely be limited.
If a person suffers from mesothelioma due to negligence of an employer or an organization then he is eligible to claim compensation from the employer. Lawyers will not be able to cure mesothelioma but the compensation will surely help to bear the cost of the expensive treatment required for mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma law is basically about being compensated by the makers and distributors of asbestos.
Procedure for a legal claim
If a person wants to legally claim that the contracted mesothelioma was a result of exposure to an asbestos zone, he /she must be able to prove that they were exposed to asbestos at their respective job locations. Recall the details of exposure, the product name, or the location. Lawyers and investigators take care of all the other formalities and legalities. All they need to do is give people the basic information.
First lawsuit against asbestos manufacturers was in the year 1929. Since then, many lawsuits have been filed against asbestos manufacturers and employers for neglecting safety measures at the job sites.
One of the recent case studies shows that in the town of Wittenoom in Australia, asbestos containing mine waste was used to cover schoolyards and playgrounds. By 1979 the first write-up was publicly issued reporting negligence related to Wittenoom and its subsidiary ABA. The Asbestos Diseases Society was formed to represent the Wittenoom victims.
Despite proving that the dust associated with asbestos mining and milling causes asbestos-related disease. , Mining began at Wittenoom in 1943 and continued until 1966. In 1974 the first public warnings of dangers of the blue asbestos were published in a cover story “Is this Killer in Your Home?” in Australia’s Bulletin magazine. In 1978 the Western Australian Government decided to phase out the town of Wittenoomac.
Mesothelioma laws were created to ensure that victims are compensated by their employers if they have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Not every law firm can professionally and successfully handle a case that has to prove carelessness on part of the employer. One must hire a firm or attorney that specializes in Mesothelioma cases and knows exactly how to help.
To deal with the rising number of deaths and diagnosis of mesothelioma, a lawsuit can be filed. .Asbestos lawsuits are filed by plaintiffs who have suffered as a result of asbestos-related illness. Plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits can include the victims of asbestos exposure or their families or loved ones. Defendants against asbestos lawsuits are the parties that are considered responsible for the asbestos exposure.
The targets of asbestos lawsuits include:
- Asbestos manufacturers
- Asbestos installers
- Leasing agents
The aim of asbestos lawsuits is to recover financial damages that result from asbestos related illness. Possible financial recoveries from asbestos lawsuits are medical bills or the treatment cost, and the lost wages.
Some of the asbestos lawsuits, punitive damages are also awarded. Although asbestos lawsuits can be complicated at first glance, a number of individuals have benefited from asbestos lawsuits, including victims families, left with enormous medical and funeral costs.
Mesothelioma cancer is an uncommon disease that causes malignant cancer cells to form within the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It occurs in both benign and malignant forms. The malignant form is the result of exposure to asbestos and may take more than 30 years to develop.
The tissue that lines lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs is called mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a tissue that causes cancer.
Treatment includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or all three together.
Types of Mesothelioma cancer
Pleural Mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Pericardium is the stomach lining (abdominal) cavity.
How Is Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Mesothelioma is often diagnosed after a patient goes to a doctor because of symptoms. If there is a reason to suspect that you may have Mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct one or more tests to find out if the disease is present. Symptoms might suggest that a person may have Mesothelioma but tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Early symptoms of Mesothelioma are not specific to the disease and people often ignore them or mistake them for common or minor ailments. Most people with Mesothelioma have symptoms for few months before they are diagnosed although in some people this is longer.
Symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma (Mesothelioma of the chest) can include:
- Pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Trouble swallowing
- Swelling of the face and arms
- Muscle weakness
Symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma can include:
- Abdominal (belly) pain
- Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
If the symptoms are positive, Mesothelioma might be present and more tests will be conducted. These might include imaging tests, blood tests, and other procedures.
Treatment method that you choose will depend on how advanced your disease exists in your body. It also depends on your general physical health and personal preferences. At this point of time, pleural Mesothelioma cannot be cured although some therapies such as the chemotherapy drug may decrease pain and provide a better quality of life.
Some doctors use a combination of Mesothelioma therapies such as surgery plus chemotherapy or only surgery, or chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is called “multimodality therapy.” The current available treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy are in the experimental stages of development.
The increased incidence of Mesothelioma has been closely linked to the rise of the asbestos industry and the use of asbestos in fireproofing and insulation. 50 to 80% of patients diagnosed with MPM are aware of exposure to asbestos at some point in their lives. Men are typically affected more due to the common presence of asbestos in industrial settings. The increasing incidence suggests that neither the benefits of legislation to reduce asbestos exposure in the workplace have not yet taken effect, nor asbestos exposure during the 1960’s was more widespread.
Screening Test For Mesothelioma
Screening, in medicine, is a strategy used to detect disease in individuals without signs or symptoms of that disease. Unlike most medicine in screening tests are performed on those without any clinical indication of disease. Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused due to exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of the are hard to identify as they appear to be a simple contraction of the common cold and it takes 30 to 50 years after being exposed to asbestos. Symptoms of Mesothelioma are similar to that of Tuberculosis and Asthma to a large extent.
Some victims may have mild symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, Shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of appetite, and weight loss before developing the Mesothelioma cancer.
There is no norm for screening people who have been exposed to asbestos but screening tests might diagnose mesothelioma earlier than conventional methods. This test improves the survival prospects of the patient. Serum osteopontin level is the blood serum test that is used in screening asbestos-exposed people for mesothelioma. Evidence suggest that serum SMRP-“soluble mesothelin-related protein” measurements may have a useful role in diagnosis of mesothelioma and in monitoring disease progression. A research was conducted by Perth Mesothelioma Centre and the PNRI in Seattle found that mesothelin-family proteins are elevated in sera from Mesothelioma patients and can predate diagnosis.
If there are signs of elevated SMRP –soluble mesothelium related proteins level in an individual, he should follow attempts to confirm the presence of mesothelioma. The test use standard radiological and pathological tools including direct pleuroscopy with biopsy of any suspicious lesions. If mesothelioma is confirmed, standard therapy would be undertaken. If not, careful ongoing monitoring would be required.
Mesomark Assay-the screening test
Mesomark Assay is a screening test conducted in controlled conditions to monitor and possibly diagnose Mesothelioma. This test was developed by Fujirebio Diagnostics and approved in late January 2007 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It works by measuring levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRP’s) released by mesothelioma. The level of soluble mesothelin-related protein is elevated in the serum of about 75% of patients during diagnosis and it has been suggested that it may be useful for screening. Doctors have begun testing the Mesomark assay which measures levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRP’s) released by mesothelioma cells.
For many people, screening instinctively seems like an appropriate thing to do because identifying something earlier seems better. However, no screening test is perfect. There will always be problems with incorrect results which add to the medical cost.
Screening helps in early diagnosis without screening the disease may be discovered later, when symptoms appear. In both cases the patient can die at the same time because the disease is diagnosed earlier with screening. The survival time since diagnosis is longer with screening but life span will not be prolonged. There will be added anxiety as the patient has to live with knowledge of the disease for longer Period.
Screening can certainly improve outcomes but this must be confirmed with proper statistical analysis not simplistic comparison of numbers.
Different Tests To Detect Mesothelioma Cancer
Imaging tests use x-rays, radioactive particles, or magnetic fields to create pictures of the organs inside your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons to help find a suspicious area that might be cancerous or to learn how far cancer may have spread. It helps to determine if the treatment has been effective.
Chest X-ray is often the first test done if someone has symptoms such as a constant cough or shortness of breath. It may show an abnormal thickening of the pleura, calcium deposits on the pleura, fluids between the lungs and the chest wall, or changes in the lungs themselves as a result of asbestos exposure.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
CT scans are often used to help assess the likelihood that Mesothelioma is present. It helps to determine the exact location of the cancer. They can also help to check the cancer stage and determine how far the disease is spread. It can also help to determine performing surgery might be a treatment option.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
For a PET scan, person receives an injection of glucose (a form of sugar) that contains a radioactive atom. The amount of radioactivity used is very low. Cancer cells in the body grow quickly so they absorb large amounts of the radioactive sugar. A special camera can then be used to create a picture of areas of radioactivity in the body. The picture is not detailed like a CT or MRI scans.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
Like CT scans, MRI scans provides detail images of soft tissues in the body. But MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into detailed images of parts of the body. A contrast material called gadolinium is often injected into a vein before the scan to better see details.
Blood levels of certain substances are often elevated in people with Mesothelioma.
Tests of fluid and tissue samples
A person’s symptoms, the results of tests, imaging tests, or blood tests may strongly suggest that Mesothelioma is present. The actual diagnosis is made by removing cells from an abnormal area and looking at them under a microscope.
In some cases, more invasive procedures may be needed to get a large enough tissue sample to make a diagnosis. Surgery, either a thoracotomy (which opens the chest cavity) or a laparotomy (which opens the abdominal cavity) allows the surgeon to removes a larger sample of tumor or sometimes the entire tumor.
For pleural Mesothelioma, the doctor may also do a bronchoscopy. The doctor passes a long, thin, flexible, fiber-optic tube called a bronchoscope down the throat to look at the lining of the lungs. You will be sedated for this. If a tumor is found, the doctor can take a small sample of the tumor through the tube.
Above mentioned are the different types of tests that can be done to help diagnose mesothelioma cancer.
Treatment For Mesothelioma Cancer
There are three traditional types of treatment for Mesothelioma: – Surgery, Radiation Therapy, and Chemotherapy. Doctors can use combinations of these treatments. The multi-treatment approach appears to provide positive results for treating the initial stages of this diseases. These treatments successfully increase the patient’s life span by five years or more which is commonly known as remission. However, success percentage may increase or decrease depending on the stage of the malignant development.
Surgery is a common treatment for Mesothelioma although by itself it cannot do much. However radiation and chemotherapy usually prescribes post surgery. A pleurectomy/ decortications are the most common surgery in which the Doctor may remove parts of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it.
Radiation or radiotherapy, involves use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy). The necessary radiation dose to treat mesothelioma that has not been surgically removed would be very toxic.
For patients with localized disease and who can tolerate a radical surgery radiation is often given after the surgery as a consolidate treatment. This approach of using surgery followed by radiation with chemotherapy has been pioneered by the Thoracic Oncology Team at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in some cases with some patients surviving more than 5 years.
Chemotherapy is usage of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Drugs are used to treat Mesothelioma and patience is given injection into vein (known as intravenous, or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of intra-cavitary chemotherapy, direct injection into the chest or abdomen
These are the main treatment methods. However, physicians are currently studying other treatment modalities such as immunotherapy and intra-operative photodynamic therapy.
Treatment regimens involves immunotherapy have yielded variable results. For example: intra pleural inoculation of éBacillus Calmette-Gurin (BCG) in an attempt to boost the immune response has not been very positive. Nonetheless other trials involving interferon alpha have proved more encouraging with 20% of patients experiencing greater than 50% reduction in tumor mass combined with minimal side effects.
Heated Intra-operative Intra-peritoneal Chemotherapy
A procedure known as heated Intra-operative intra chemotherapy was developed by Paul Sugar Baker at the Washington Cancer Institute. The surgeon removes tumor as much as possible followed by the direct administration of a chemotherapy agent heated between 40 to 48°C in the abdomen. The fluid is per fused for 60 to 120 minutes and then drained.
This technique permits the administration of high concentrations of selected drugs into the abdominal and pelvic surfaces. Heating the chemotherapy treatment increases the penetration of the drugs into tissues. Also, heating itself damages the malignant cells more than the normal cells.
Various other programs are also exhibiting favorable results. Despite such successes and so much research the irony is that no cure for Mesothelioma currently exists.
Types Of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is an ugly word for an ugly condition. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, with 3,000 cases a year reported in the U.S. Although the most common form of Mesothelioma the pleural Mesothelioma affects the membranes surrounding the lungs. This type of cancer is entirely different from lung cancer. It is a rare and usually far more deadly form of cancer than lung cancer. Also, it is unrelated to smoking; it is caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibers.
Asbestos, a mineral that was widely used throughout during the period of 1900in nearly every industry forms long fibers that can be woven or mixed into materials. When asbestos is broken or crushed the dust and fibers mix in the air and land on surfaces nearby. People who breathe in or swallow asbestos dust are at risk developing Mesothelioma.
There are three types of Mesothelioma classified according to cancer stages.
Pleural Mesothelioma forms lining around the lungs. It usually begins in the outer membrane of one lung and may progress to both lungs and other organs. The symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma include a dry cough, chest pain, and pleural effusion.
Pleural effusion is the collection of fluid among the tissue covering the chest wall, the diaphragm, and the tissue covering the lungs. Normally there is a small amount of fluid in that area to make it easy for your lungs to move while breathing. A person with Mesothelioma, the cells that usually absorb excess fluid don’t work right and the fluid builds up causing pain, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Some of the symptoms that are commonly associated with pleural Mesothelioma include: persistent coughing, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, weight loss, fever, rasping, and blood vomit. Some patients may also experience shortness of breath whether they are being active or when they are at rest. This can be caused by the thickening of the pleura due to the spread of the tumor. The thicker the pleura gets the less space the lungs have to function properly. Hence breathing begins to be affected. The treatment includes surgery chemotherapy and radiation.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma forms lining of the abdominal and pelvic cavities called the peritoneum. About 10% of Mesothelioma cases swallow asbestos fibers which cause changes in the peritoneum development. The symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma include swollen and painful abdomen, high temperature, bowel problems, and problems with urination, nausea, and vomiting.
The treatment depends upon a number of factors. Doctors once diagnose will make a recommendation based upon details such as the extent of the cancer and how advanced it is; patient’s general condition and health, past medical history of the patient, and the patient’s age.
Pericardial Mesothelioma affects the pericardium, which forms thin tissue lining around the heart. It’s a rare type of Mesothelioma accounting for less than 1% of reported cases. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, and palpitations.
Later-stage symptoms for all types of Mesothelioma include sudden weight loss without any other explanation, spitting up blood and sputum, problems swallowing, and hoarseness
It can occasionally be treated with surgery. However, the nature of this cancer is that it is very advanced by the time that it is diagnosed.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to certain types of asbestos, a material once used in building construction. Symptoms of Mesothelioma do not appear immediately after being exposed it takes about 25 to 50 years after the initial exposure to develop those symptoms. It is a slow progressing disease that usually occurs to middle age groups and senior adults after their exposure to asbestos. Like other types of cancer sometimes the disease is asymptomatic, that means there are no symptoms.
The symptoms of Mesothelioma vary greatly from person to person and also on the type of Mesothelioma (pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial) the patient is affected with.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural Mesothelioma affects the pleura, the lining of the lungs. It is the most common type of Mesothelioma. One of the most common and specific symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma is the accumulation of fluid between the lungs and chest cavity. This causes shortness of breath and requires a doctor to drain the fluid with the help of a fine-needle that makes breathing easier and relieves chest pain. Symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma include:
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
People with mesothelioma, chest x-rays may reveal pleural effusion. This is a condition where fluid begins to accumulate outside lungs. Blood clots can also occur in some cases.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. Symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal mass
- Nausea or vomiting
- Change in bowel habits
As peritoneal Mesothelioma advances, a person might experience night sweats, anemia, fever, or even a bowel obstruction.
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma
Pericardial Mesothelioma affects the pericardium, the membrane that surrounds the heart. The pericardium is a cell that produces a lubricating fluid that protects the heart. They allow the heart to move freely when it is pumping blood to other parts of your body. It is the least common type affecting about five percent of people with the disease. Pericardial Mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath even when not exerting energy
- Heart palpitations or irregular breathing
Prompt Medical Treatment after Diagnosis
In most cases, the spread of cancer has already occurred even if detected by current and sophisticated medical tests. When all Mesothelioma stages are considered together, 5 year survival rate is only about 14%. Early Mesothelioma is diagnosed incidentally. It is found as a result of the tests that are done for an unrelated medical condition. .When any worker, a friend, or a family member of a worker having worked in an asbestos environment seem to fall ill without a reason should ensure that they get themselves checked for Mesothelioma cancer..
Unfortunately Mesothelioma does not cause any symptoms until it has spread too far to be cured. Symptoms do occur in some patients with early Mesothelioma. Prompt attention to symptoms especially if there is a history of asbestos exposure. Early diagnosis and treatment can cure some patients who are in initial stage of cancer. For others, prompt attention to symptoms can improve the livelihood. Proper treatment can extend their life and relieve then from many symptoms.