19 September 2010

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Depending on the type of mesothelioma, slightly different symptoms can occur. Peritoneal disease has an effect on the intestines, liver and other structures in the abdominal cavity. As fluid builds up, the abdomen can become very expanded. Because the liver plays a big part in......

Mesothelioma Symptoms
Mesothelioma develops many years after exposure to asbestos. Sometimes, it may be 30 to 40 years before symptoms occur. Unfortunately, in the early stages of the disease, symptoms may be vague or not noticeable. Thus, if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, even for a very brief time, it’s important to have regular check-ups to detect any lung abnormalities, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Benign lung disease, such as asbestosis is common in people who have been exposed to asbestos. The symptoms can be very similar, and only a complete medical exam can provide an accurate diagnosis.

Early detection of mesothelioma allows doctor to use more effective and more powerful treatments. For this reason, you should watch carefully for any of the symptoms of mesothelioma.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma may include:

* Coughing
* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
* Difficulty Sleeping
* Weight Loss
* Pain in chest and abdomen
* Fluid in the chest

Mesothelioma Symptoms
Usually, difficulty breathing and a lingering cough bring patients into the doctor for evaluation. This occurs because tumors of the mesothelium make if hard for the lungs to expand smoothly. Large tumors, or tumors that spread to the chest wall can cause chest pain. When fluid builds up in the pleura, breathing can be even more difficult while lying down, making it hard to sleep. The spread of cancerous cells takes a toll on your body, causing weakness, extreme fatigue. Changes in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients as a result of invasion into the abdomen can cause weight loss. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

Depending on the type of mesothelioma, slightly different symptoms can occur. Peritoneal disease has an effect on the intestines, liver and other structures in the abdominal cavity. As fluid builds up, the abdomen can become very expanded. Because the liver plays a big part in manufacturing the substances needed to control bleeding, there is often a change in your ability to make blood clots. Weight loss occurs for several reasons, and is more dramatic in this form of the disease. 

The pleural form of mesothelioma can also cause damage to the upper airway. Swallowing can become difficult, and voice changes can occur if the larynx is affected.

Specific symptoms of Peritoneal mesothelioma:

* Weight loss
* Abdominal pain
* Buildup of fluid in the abdomen
* Bowel obstruction
* Abnormal blood clotting
* Abdominal mass
* Fever

Specific symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma:

* Pain in the lower back
* Pain in the side of chest
* A persistent cough
* Shortness of breath
* Husky voice
* Difficulty swallowing
* Fever

Regardless of the location, malignant mesotheliomas occur in three forms. The epithelioid type is the most common, accounting for 50-70% of all mesotheliomas. Between 20-35% of mesotheliomas are sarcomatoid. The remaining 7-20% of tumors are classified as mixed/biphasic. Epithelioid mesothelioma has the best outlook for survival.

If your symptoms suggest you may have mesothelioma, you doctor will order a number of tests. Imaging studies like X-rays, CT scans and MRI show any abnormalities within the lungs. A complete blood count and levels of specific proteins can help make the diagnosis. However, the diagnosis of mesothelioma cannot be made by blood work and imaging studies in every case. Other more common diseases such as benign asbestos-related pleural disease and metastatic adenocarcinoma can have very similar appearances on imaging studies. Biopsy, and the use of special staining are often necessary for the accurate diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Promising studies on the early detection of mesothelioma may soon provided more accurate methods for diagnosis. If you have these warning signs you should consultant a qualified medical professional immediately. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis.

15 comments:

  1. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

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  4. Mesothelioma is a type of disease that most of us are not familiar of. That is why, in my opinion, its best to get diagnosed immediately and be hopefully be given an option to any treatment that is available for your condition.

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