Mesothelioma is known as a horrible form of lung cancer that has been associated with people being around asbestos. In fact, some people refer to it as Asbestos Cancer. The tissue that is near the lungs and major nearby organs can be stricken with this fatal cancer. Most people that contract Mesothelioma do not walk away alive, and their treatment is a struggle. Some survive the condition, but only if it is caught in the very early stages.
Many times, this horrid disease is misdiagnosed, which means that people who have it do not have it detected in the early stages. Every second counts with this disease in order to beat it, and it is vital that your doctor detect it early.
There are four different types of mesothelioma. The type of mesothelioma that people most often get is pleural mesothelioma. This makes up about 70 percent of all mesothelioma cases. In this type of cancer the asbestos attacks the thin protective lining of the lungs and chest cavity.
The second most common type of mesothelioma is the peritoneal mesothelioma. This type of cancer focuses mainly on the cavity of the abdomen, while pericardial mesothelioma damages mainly the cardiac cavity. The rarest form of mesothelioma cancer is testicular mesothelioma which affects only men.
It seems clear that the longer you are exposed to asbestos, the greater your chance is of contracting mesothelioma. However, tests have been conducted on individuals that have only been exposed for a very brief time and they show signs of respiratory dysfunction.
The problem lies in the fact that it takes a long time for symptoms to show and an even longer time for mesothelioma to be detected, up to ten to forty years to be exact. Even family members have been put at risk by relatives that come home from work having been heavily exposed to asbestos and carry it in on their clothing, shoes, hair and skin.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is known for spreading from the lungs and developing in the abdominal cavity. Some of the symptoms that are noticeable with this type of mesothelioma are problems with the bowel functions, a mass can be found in the abdomen, weight loss, fluid in the abdomen and abdominal pain.
These are all serious signs of this disease. In its advanced stages, mesothelioma causes pulmonary embolisms, low blood sugar, jaundice, severe bleeding in organs and blood clots. If you have reached the point that you are experiencing the last symptoms mentioned, you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible so treatment can begin to rid your body of cancer.
Some of the symptoms you will want to watch include, hoarseness, shortness of breath and wheezing. If you have a persistent cough that worsens over time. When you cough too hard and you find blood in the fluid from your lungs, you need to contact your doctor immediately. Tightening of the chest and pain are also signs that need to be monitored.
Some symptoms even come in the form of having difficulty swallowing and swelling of the face or neck. A loss of appetite and weight loss are also indicators. Factor in any of the symptoms above with anemia or fatigue and you should make an appointment for an examination right away.
While the symptoms of mesothelioma will differ between the four different types of cancer it is important to take the symptoms seriously if you notice them reoccurring. Some individuals have reported that they had symptoms of mesothelioma for as many as six months before receiving any form of treatment for their cancer; however the typical number of months an individual will go without being diagnosed for mesothelioma is around two to three months. It is important to remember that the sooner you get help for your mesothelioma, the better odds you will have in protecting and healing your body.
If at any time you believe you may have contracted mesothelioma you need to visit your doctor immediately. After you inform your doctor of your potential mesothelioma case you will need to discuss with him or her about the chances of your contraction and any past medical history that would put you at a greater risk. After this has been deciphered the doctor will check you for any significant signs of mesothelioma cancer.
Your doctor will want to perform several different types of diagnostic tests in order to confirm the presence of mesothelioma in the body. These testing procedures are as follows:
This will be the very first scan the doctor will perform on the infected individual. This type of scan will find out if the body is functioning as it should. Combined with a CT scan the doctor will be able to determine if the cancer has spread throughout different areas of the body.
This type of scan is used commonly on individuals who are suspected of having mesothelioma. This type of scan is extremely detailed and will be able to show the complete aspects of the internal body so the doctor can find out where the tumors and access points of mesothelioma are located.
This type of scan is less common then the aforementioned scans but is still used in mesothelioma patients. This type of scan will send magnetic waves and radio pulses to a computer to allow the doctor to see the infected areas clearly.
A chest x-ray is usually the first scan performed by a suspected mesothelioma patient. This X-ray will allow the doctor to decipher if there is any trauma located in the chest cavity, which will let them make a medical decision easier.
In most cases, a biopsy is needed to detect Mesothelioma accurately. Biopsies help doctors effectively diagnose mesothelioma and its progression. If your blood test results come back positive for mesothelioma, then your physician will more than likely want to do a biopsy next.
While this procedure is not highly comfortable due to the extraction of tissue from the affected tissue with a needle, it is the most effective test that can be done concerning diagnosing mesothelioma.