Facts on One of the Most Aggressive Forms of Cancer

Mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive and dangerous cancers in the world. Although it is uncommon for the average individual to acquire this form of cancer, it is not impossible; especially for those who have been around asbestos.

Many people are incredibly unaware of what mesothelioma is, how it is contracted and diagnosed, and how it is treated. Knowing the first signs of mesothelioma is the only way to catch the cancer in its early stages and treat it as soon as possible. This form of cancer is very deadline, so if it is not caught in the very early stages, then the results will not bode well for the patient involved.

There are several different signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Most of the symptoms of this type of cancer represent other types of disease, which is why it is so commonly misdiagnosed.

Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma are incredibly common which is why some people tend to dismiss the symptoms completely; however, if you have been anywhere near asbestos or if you believe you were around it, you need to take every symptom of the common cold into consideration and get checked for the cancer. Some of the most common symptoms associated with mesothelioma include the following:

  • Anemia

Those who have mesothelioma coursing through their bodies will typically have a low red blood cell count, much lower than the typical individual. A low red blood cell count will usually make the individual feel very fatigued and can even be the cause of a loss of bone marrow if left untreated.

  • Blood Clots

This symptom is found quite commonly in individuals who have contracted mesothelioma. This can also be a contributing factor to anemia. Blood clots are incredibly dangerous, and can kill you on their own so you need diagnosed as soon as possible to be on watch for clots.

  • Obstruction of the Bowels

This symptom is usually only found in individuals who have peritoneal mesothelioma. This is an incredibly painful symptom that occurs after a large amount of fluid is stuck inside of the abdomen. This must be treated immediately.

  • Chest pain

This is a very common symptom of patients who have pleural and pericardial mesothelioma. If this is left untreated the patient may begin to grow a tumor on the lungs which will result in significant strain on the chest and heart. The stress if left untreated will make treatment difficult once you are diagnosed.

  • Dysphagia

This symptom is just a medical term for those who have difficulty swallowing. This symptom usually arises in those who have pleural mesothelioma. People who have this problem typically choke easily on their food, and panic at times when they can't swallow.

  • Hemoptysis

This symptom involves the individual coughing up blood and is a common symptom of patients who have contracted mesothelioma and left it untreated.

  • Nausea

Nausea is a symptom that is usually overlooked, but is incredibly common in patients who have any type of cancer. Individuals with peritoneal mesothelioma will experience this symptom much more as the fluid increases to build up within the abdomen.

  • Weight Loss

As a result of other symptoms of mesothelioma such as difficulty swallowing and intense nausea, weight loss may ensue in the patient.

  • Back Pain

This symptom is incredibly common with individuals who have pleural mesothelioma. About 60 percent of infected individuals will suffer from this symptom.

When you initially go to the doctor if you feel that you could possibly have mesothelioma, they will run a series of tests to determine if your suspicions are correct. A PET scan will be the first test that they will order if they suspect you have this disease. This scan determines if the body is functioning normally. This test is usually run in conjunction with a CT scan, to determine just how far the cancer has traveled through your body, if it has at all.

The CT scan is very comprehensive, but it shows a wealth of information such as in depth looks at your internal body. This scan will aid the physician in knowing exactly where the tumors from the mesothelioma are located. If they can determine where the access points are they have a better chance of treating it successfully before it spreads any further.

Your physician may also decide to run an MRI test. This scan looks inside your body through using radio pulses and magnetic waves. You will lay flat in a tube where they will take various internal images. This scan will allow the physician to get a more in-depth look inside your body. While this type of test is not used as often as others for Mesothelioma, it is still a useful tool to allow your doctor to get vital information to save your life.

Even the trusty chest X-ray will be utilized in helping with the diagnosis of mesothelioma. This will allow the doctor to look inside the chest area to determine whether or not damage has been caused in the cavity of the chest. This will allow them to better determine if you actually have mesothelioma, because if no damage is present, then you most likely do not have the disease and they will need to look further to find out the cause of your issues.

Biopsies are another medical procedure performed by doctors on suspected mesothelioma patients. Biopsies are an imperative part of the diagnosing procedure. There are two different types of biopsies that may be performed on an individual. This type of testing is crucial in the diagnosis process.

  • Needle biopsy

A needle biopsy is extremely less invasive then a surgical biopsy and will only require a thin needle. This type of biopsy will remove fluid from one’s body and sent to a laboratory to determine if there are any malignant cells in the fluid. If malignant cells are present, the diagnosing of mesothelioma can be confirmed.

  • Surgical biopsy

This type of biopsy is a lot more extensive and complicated than the needle biopsy; however it is incredibly necessary if the above procedures could not determine as to whether or not an individual has contracted mesothelioma. This procedure is also recommended for those who have been positively diagnosed for mesothelioma as they will discover which stage the cancer is in and can begin medical treatment.

While mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer, it is important to remember that it can be treated. New treatments are constantly becoming available to those who have been diagnosed with this horrendous form of cancer.

It is important to remember that catching the early stages of mesothelioma and receiving treatment as soon as possible will increase your survival rate, while waiting months to receive any type of treatment could cost you a lot more than money; your life.

If you feel that there is a problem and you don't feel that your doctor is being as aggressive as he should be in diagnosing you, then you should probably get a second opinion. Every single minute counts when it comes to diagnosing this disease, so it is crucial that you seek medical treatment fast.

The treatment will be hard to endure, as you will have to go through many processes to have any change at curing the disease. You will most likely be subjected to chemotherapy, radiation, other cancer drugs and even surgery in most cases.

The treatment can make a person feel incredibly ill, but a combination of these together is essential to ensure that you have the best possible chance of beating the disease. Every effort will be made by your medical team to ensure that you are cured. It is important to not give up, even when you feel like you are tired of fighting the debilitating disease.


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