What is Mesothelioma and how to do its Diagnosis?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which effects the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. The protective lining is made up of cells known as mesothelial cells, which create a line of slippery protection for your internal organs. Because of this, most symptoms of mesothelioma can be felt in the chest and lungs, but you can also find them in other organs, like your stomach lining, esophagus, or throat. But pleural mesothelioma, that is mesothelioma of the chest, and peritoneal mesothelioma, that is, mesothelioma in your stomach are most common. So these are the symptoms we will discuss here.
Diagnosis Of mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma in your chest include:
- Pain in the chest or lower back
- Cough, shortness of breath, or hoarseness in your throat.
- Trouble swallowing
- Weight loss
- Swelling in your face or arms
Symptoms of mesothelioma in your lungs include:
- Belly pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling or water retention in your stomach
In severe mesothelioma, you may see the following symptoms
-Blood clots in veins
-Intravascular coagulation, which is a disease that causes severe spontaneous bleeding in internal organs
-Yellowing of the eyes and skin, known as jaundice
-Blood clots in the arteries or lungs.
You may also experience dizziness or physical weakness, if the mesothelioma has reached your heart. However, mesothelioma in the heart is still relatively rare and a full list of symptoms is not yet available.
Of course, if you have mesothelioma in your stomach it can be hard to diagnose. The symptoms can be easily hidden in other conditions. Mesothelioma is usually caused by contact with asbestos, so if you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to or contact with asbestos, see your doctor immediately.
You should also be aware that if a mesothelioma metastasis, it is most likely to show up in the liver, adrenal gland, kidney or lungs.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by breathing in asbestos. Even a one-time exposure can be risky. To limit your exposure to asbestos, educate yourself on the places asbestos can be found in your home. Have an expert test your home for asbestos before moving, and any renovations and repairs, especially if it was built before 1980. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor, and be thorough when you talk about your potential exposure to asbestos. Early screenings for cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses can help save lives.
Treatment and Prognosis For Mesothelioma
The average life expectancy for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma is 12-21 months. However, if you catch it early, you can greatly improve your chances. Mesothelioma is most often treated with surgery, which will remove tumors and keep the cancer from spreading. It may also be treated with other cancer treatment methods, including radiation and chemotherapy. Mesothelioma, like other cancers, is not curable, but if it’s caught in early stages, your treatment options and and outcome will improve.
The difficult part is getting the diagnosis. Because asbestos spread toxins through the body even after a one-time exposure, and exposure can occur between 20-50 years before the first symptoms show up, the disease is often not diagnosed until it’s progressed. This is why it’s so important to see a doctor as soon as you think you might have been exposed to asbestos.