THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA

THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA

MESOTHELIOMA IS A RARE, BUT POTENTIALLY DEADLY, CANCER THAT AFFECTS THE MESOTHELIUM – A LINING THAT SURROUNDS THE

LUNGS AND OTHER ORGANS.

THE DISEASE TYPICALLY STARTS IN THE LUNGS, FROM WHICH IT CAN SPREAD. IT MAY ALSO START IN OTHER ORGANS,

THOUGH IT IS COMMONLY THOUGHT OF AS A LUNG CANCER, DUE TO THEY WAY IT TARGETS THE LUNGS.

THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF MESOTHELIOMA IS ASBESTOS. MOST CASES ARISE IN WORKERS WHO WORK IN ENVIRONMENTS WHERE ASBESTOS IS IN THE AIR.

THE DISEASE CAN TAKE UP TO 50 YEARS FROM THE TIME ASBESTOS IS INHALED TO MAKE ITS PRESENCE KNOWN, THOUGH THE SYMPTOMS CAN MIMIC OTHER, LESS SERIOUS, CONDITIONS.

SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA

GENERAL

    GIVEN THAT MESOTHELIOMA CAN ARISE IN THE PLEURAL CAVITY AND THE ABDOMINAL CAVITY, PAIN SYMPTOMS CAN ARISE

ANYWHERE IN THOSE AREAS IF MESOTHELIOMA IS PRESENT. WITH PLEURAL (LUNG) MESOTHELIOMA, PAIN IN THE LOWER BACK,

BENEATH THE RIBS AND SIDES OF THE RIBS IS A SYMPTOM OF THE DISEASE. IT OCCURS IN THE STOMACH WHEN THE CANCER IS AFFECTING OTHER ORGANS.

   SWELLING CAN OCCUR IN THE STOMACH, HANDS AND ARMS. IN THE CASE OF ABDOMINAL SWELLING,

FLUID MAY BE BUILDING UP.

    FEVER AND/OR SWEATING MAY ARISE WITH MESOTHELIOMA, THOUGH IT DOES WITH MANY ILLNESSES.

HIGH FEVERS SHOULD ALWAYS BE TREATED AS EMERGENCIES. ONLY TESTS CAN TELL IF CANCER IS CAUSING THE FEVER.

    AS WITH MOST, IF NOT ALL, CANCERS, MESOTHELIOMA CAN CAUSE SUFFERERS TO FEEL GENERALLY TIRED. THIS FATIGUE MAY

BE COUPLED WITH MUSCLE WEAKNESS OR THE TWO SYMPTOMS MAY STAND ALONE. MENTION ANY LOSS OF ENERGY TO A PRIMARY

CARE PHYSICIAN OR EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR.

    WEIGHT LOSS IS A SIGN OF MANY CANCERS, INCLUDING MESOTHELIOMA. WEIGHT LOSS THAT CANNOT BE ATTRIBUTED TO DIETING

OR KNOWN ILLNESS SHOULD ALWAYS BE MENTIONED TO A DOCTOR. VOMITING IS ALSO A SYMPTOM OF MESOTHELIOMA.

THEREFORE, IF THE WEIGHT LOSS IS ATTRIBUTED TO VOMITING, ONE SHOULD STILL SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.

RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS

    PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA CAN HAVE DIRE CONSEQUENCES WHEN IT COMES TO BREATHING. ONE SYMPTOM IS SHORTNESS OF

BREATH. IF BREATHING IS PROBLEMATIC, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.

    ANOTHER RESPIRATORY SYMPTOM OF MESOTHELIOMA IS A COUGH. UNFORTUNATELY, SYMPTOMS LIKE THIS MAY GO IGNORED

AS SIGNS OF AGING AND COMMON AILMENTS.

    MESOTHELIOMA CAN CAUSE THROAT AILMENTS AS WELL. HOARSENESS AND DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING MAY ARISE AS A RESULT

OF THE DISEASE.

MESOTHELIOMA IS NOT THE ONLY DISEASE CAUSED BY INHALING ASBESTOS. INHALED ASBESTOS MAY ALSO LEAD TO LUNG CANCER

AND ASBESTOSIS. THE SYMPTOMS OF ALL THESE DISEASES CAN BE SIMILAR — ESPECIALLY IN THE LUNGS. DOCTORS WILL PERFORM IMAGING,

BLOOD AND/OR TISSUE TESTS TO DETERMINE WHICH DISEASE THE SYMPTOMS REPRESENT, IF ANY.

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