Mesothelioma is a type of cancer characterized by tumor cell growth in the lungs, heart, stomach and sometimes in other organs. It has a 5 to 10 percent survival rate, which makes it one of the most dangerous cancer types out there.
Mesothelioma is also quite aggressive and difficult to treat especially at advanced stages. Early detection is thus one of the best ways to ensure higher survival chances. It thus important that people know the symptoms or signs that may help facilitate an early diagnosis so that patients diagnosed with the disease can receive treatment as early as possible.
The mesothelioma symptoms occur depending on the specific type which is mainly determined by the location of the cancer cells. For example, if the cancer cells occur around the lungs, it is known as Pleural mesothelioma. Some of the symptoms include:
- Coughs that might be painful.
- Lumps under the skin in the chest area.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pains.
There is another common type of mesothelioma called Peritoneal mesothelioma in which the cancer cells manifest in the abdomen tissue. The symptoms include:
- Unusual weight loss.
- Abdominal swelling.
- Abdominal pains.
Mesothelioma may occur in other areas and the symptoms manifest differently. However, they are rare and not much is known about them, including the symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms might look like those of other diseases and thus patients might be misdiagnosed.
Doctors perform a variety of tests to ensure a proper diagnosis. The tests also aim to determine whether the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body. Doctors use a variety of tests that allow them to narrow down the diagnosis. The tests include:
- CAT scans for internal imaging.
- Biopsies for tissue samples.
- Blood tests.
- Testing for abdominal or lung fluid.
- Lung function examinations.
- Physical exams.
If the doctor conducts all the tests and you are clear of mesothelioma, then you are lucky. However, that does not mean that you can never contract the disease. Doctors recommend avoid exposure to asbestos which is one of the main causes of the disease. You might not have asbestos at home but might be exposed to it at your work place. Doctors also recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle.