Mesothelioma Signs You Have to Know – The mesothelioma signs are often confused with other diseases, as they are very general and non-specific. Because of this, along with its aggressive nature, mesothelioma often leads to a very grim prognosis. If you are have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
The symptoms of mesothelioma, a form of cancer, often take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop. Unfortunately, this delay often prevents the detection of the disease and leads to misdiagnoses. Early symptoms are similar to many more common illnesses, such as the cold or flu, and are easily dismissed. Further signs of mesothelioma include respiratory problems, such as pain in the chest, and breathing trouble. The three types of mesothelioma all have somewhat different symptoms.
Pleural mesothelioma, which develops as a result of pleural effusion, a build up of fluid in the pleura of the chest, typically causes symptoms such as the following: difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, weight loss, fever, coughing up blood, rasping, and pain in the chest.
Pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are the two most common forms of this cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma indicates cancer that has begun to grow in the lining of the abdominal organs or cavity. Pleural Mesothelioma is a cancer that grows in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. These two forms of mesothelioma are very distinct and therefore, their symptoms and signs are also unique.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the least common form. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss, blockage of the colon, problems with blood clotting, fever, and moderate to severe pain in the abdominal area.
The more common pleural mesothelioma can include symptoms such as weight loss, coughing fits, fever, inability to control temperature, chest pains, and difficulty breathing. While symptoms of both types of mesothelioma are very general, it is important to rule it out if you are at risk.
There are a few different paths that your doctor may take in deciding whether or not you are indeed afflicted with mesothelioma. After presenting him/her with your symptoms and signs, your doctor may perform any number of tests, including CAT scans, X-Rays, or an MRI. A CAT scan is basically an advanced form of computer aided X-Ray that allows a doctor to see more clearly the internal organs of the patient. During an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, a doctor will be able to clearly see any abnormalities in the affected area. Many times, these three methods are used in tandem for the clearest picture.
Should your doctor detect a tumor or other suspicious growth using the above imaging technologies, he/she will want to perform a biopsy. There are several types of biopsies, as well. They range from the non-invasive technique of extracting a small amount of liquid from the growth using a small needle, to a minor surgery, removing a significant portion of the growth.
Because mesothelioma is such an aggressive cancer, it is of the utmost importance that you seek medical advice if any of the symptoms and signs are present. While the majority of symptoms will turn out to be something far more benign in nature than mesothelioma it would be unwise to chance it. Your odds of beating mesothelioma increase dramatically if it is detected earlier.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining in the abdominal cavity, include weight loss, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity), and may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever.
Finally, the rarest form of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, includes mild to severe chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, a persistent cough, and severe fatigue.
To diagnose if a patient’s symptoms are connected to mesothelioma, as opposed to something less severe, an x-ray or ultrasound can be used. If the results of those methods are inconclusive, a biopsy can determine for certain whether or not the cancer is present. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but research and clinical trials are non stop.
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