Health & Fitness

Signs and symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer

Jyotsna Ramani
Written by Jyotsna Ramani

Signs and symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that develops in the form of distorted cells initiating in the Mesothelioma, the protecting cover of the vital organs. It can occur in pleura, the lining of the internal chest wall and lungs and as well as in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma   is also known to occur in tunica vaginalis, the sac surrounding the testis and pericardium, the covering of the heart. Still incurable and looked upon as a mystery researchers, scientists and physicians have begun to unravel this mystery over the past two decades and help the diagnosis of the cancer at an early stage.

The root cause behind Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Generally, the patient of Mesothelioma starts showing the symptoms 15 to 50 thus, if you have a history of asbestos exposure, and believe that you are showing some signs and symptoms of cancer, get medical advice immediately and inform your physician. One of the most distinctive facts about Mesothelioma is that the cancer has a latency period and lots of time gets by from the first point of exposure to asbestos. The cancer takes long time to develop. As the first symptoms may appear after 35 and 40 years, the cancer is well in its advanced stage when the patient first comes to realize. Treatment options get limited and less effective in the alter stage.

Common early symptoms of Mesothelioma

A few of the common signs and symptoms, that one may have Mesothelioma are coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss and poor respiratory function. Most patients are even unaware that they are carrying the cancer or have developed Mesothelioma.  As these symptoms are found in other ailments too, the diagnosis gets even more delayed. In case you have a history of asbestos exposure and see any of these sings an symptoms, take these as warming bells and seek medical help immediately.
Let us now focus on the ‘symptoms of Mesothelioma according to its location.

Pleural Mesothelioma
When Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the peritoneum, it is referred to as peritoneal.  The symptoms may include weight loss and pain as well as swelling in the chest area. However it is not easy to detect this type of Mesothelioma.

•    Chest wall pain
•    Fluid around the lung
•    Difficulty in breathing
•    Shortness of breath
•    Anemia and fatigue
•    Hoarse and wheezing, cough
•    Blood in the sputum
•    difficulty in swallowing
•    weight loss and fever

Under severe circumstance, the patient may also develop pneumothorax or lung collapse. The cancer can also spread to the other parts of the body. Patients usually company about pain in one part of the chest that just never goes away. The survival chances for patients analyzed with pleural Mesothelioma are not so good.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Cancer affecting the abdominal cavity and the lining of the vital organs in the abdominal cavity do not show any symptoms until the cancer is at an advanced stage.

•    Severe abdominal pain
•    A mass in the abdomen
•    Abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
•    Difficulty with bowel function
•    Weight loss
•    vomiting and nausea
•    swollen feet
•    Fever

The survival rate is even lower for those detected with peritoneal Mesothelioma. The patients survive for only a couple of months when they first experienced the symptoms and signs of Mesothelioma.

Pericardial Mesothelioma
Pericardial Mesothelioma occurs in the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, as is apparent form the name.  This is the rare form of Mesothelioma cancer. As the cancer advances, the heart is not able to function properly and fails to deliver the oxygen efficiently to the rest of the body. As a result, the person starts getting weaker in health and complains of fatigue and weakness all the time. There is a dev\cline in health at an alarming rate. The symptoms are similar to those of heart attack.

•    Shortness of breath
•    Pain in the chest
•    Weight loss and fatigue
•    Nausea

Testicular Mesothelioma
Testicular Mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of malignant Mesothelioma and till date there have been only 100 cases of this kind associated. It develops in the membranous lining surrounding the testicle. As this is an uncommon form of cancer, there is no definite set of symptoms. There is swelling in the scrotum and visible testicular lumps. Testicular Mesothelioma may be rare but this is most treatable too.

Mesothelioma can be benign or malignant. Malignant Mesothelioma is the uncommon form of cancer and the basic cause is exposure to asbestos. The symptoms are difficult to diagnose by the doctors and often it is too late for the patient to recover. Patients fail to respond well to any treatment therapy. The long latency period also makes the treatment even more difficult. Benign Mesothelioma on the other hand is easier to treat and there have been many successful cases.

Patients, who suspect Mesothelioma, should get in touch with their doctor right away and go for regular screening. An early diagnosis can improve the chances of getting cured completely and prevent the cancer form spreading to other parts of the body. The disease can progress very fast hence, one need to act fast. In case you have had an exposure to asbestos earlier and is not getting any of the above symptoms of Mesothelioma, it is still essential to get yourself screened as the cancer can lie latent for many years.

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About the author

Jyotsna Ramani

Jyotsna Ramani

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary".
Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since.

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