Today i'm giving some space to TreatMesothelioma.org to raise awareness of the dangers of mesothelioma. I've asked them to provide a guide to symptoms that might alert people that something needs treatment. Military personnel is very likely to have been exposed to asbestos at some point, considering how widely employed it used to be, so they are particularly at risk and need to be aware.
Mesothelioma Warning Signs & Symptoms
Know Them, Learn Them, Then Teach Someone Else.
Mesothelioma is rare form of cancer that attacks the protective layer, or better described as the thin tissue lining that surrounds most internal organs. This fluid sac-filled tissue lining is known as the mesothelium to which mesothelioma got its name. There are three main types of mesothelioma with a fourth type not having enough data to really share beneficial information on as it is extremely rare and accounts for 0 – 1% of all mesothelioma cases. The organs attacked along with their medical names are listed from most common to least.
Types of Mesothelioma:
- Lungs – Pleural Mesothelioma
- Abdomen – Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Heart – Pericardial Mesothelioma
- Testicles – Testicular Mesothelioma (they got really technical with this name)
The two main purposes for this article is to spread awareness on the warning signs and symptoms of mesothelioma so you can catch it early on and get treated right away and to share that ANYONE IN THE WORLD is susceptible to developing mesothelioma. This rare, specific cancer is 100% disabling and although there has been an extreme amount of effort put into clinical trials with many medical advances over the last 10 years, there is no cure for mesothelioma.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The main cause of mesothelioma and from what we understand, the only cause is from a person either inhaling or ingesting is asbestos dust and/or fibers. Asbestos is a mineral that has thin, microscopic fibers and was used widely before being banned in the late 1970’s and 80’s. Common industries that used asbestos containing materials include the automotive, shipbuilding, and construction industries.
Asbestos fibers are usually released into the air during the manufacture, construction and remodeling processes when asbestos containing materials were moved around or disturbed. Once released, the fibers are ingested or inhaled by workers, property occupants or people near the point of release. The reason we bring up the cause of mesothelioma before the warning signs is because these signs and symptoms are often, VERY OFTEN confused with the symptoms of other ailments and common colds. Therefore, the first thing to ask yourself is, “Have I ever been exposed to asbestos?” If your answer is yes but you have no symptoms… that is warning sign number one.
Common Mesothelioma Symptoms
As recently mentioned, most mesothelioma symptoms resemble the symptoms of other ailments. In fact, most people experience mesothelioma symptoms for a few months before actually even seeing a doctor. Once the general physician is informed about the symptoms, sometimes it takes even a couple months after that until the true diagnosis is made. That is why it is so vital to know whether or not you have been exposed to asbestos. Knowing this could extend your life by 5+ years. Mesothelioma warning signs may vary depending on the type of mesothelioma that an individual is suffering from. The following are the most common symptoms a person would face if mesothelioma were developing in their bodies.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
§ Shortness of breath
§ Pain in the lower back or side of the patient’s chest
§ Excessive sweating
§ Weight loss
§ Trouble swallowing
§ Swelling of the arms and face
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Vomiting and nausea
- Weight loss
- Abdominal fluid accumulation or swelling
- Abdominal pain
Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Chest pain
- Chronic cough
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue after light exertion
Testicular Mesothelioma Symptoms
It is crucial that you consult a doctor if you have any of these symptoms especially if you have an asbestos exposure history. Visual learner perhaps? Here is a video to learn more about the symptoms and warning signs of mesothelioma: Mesothelioma, the symptoms.
Factors that influence mesothelioma symptoms
How and when mesothelioma symptoms develop depends on several factors.
- Duration for which a person was exposed to asbestos
- The amount of asbestos fibers that a person was exposed to
- Type of asbestos that a person was exposed to
- Stage of mesothelioma
These factors as well as the cell types affected will determine the strength and severity of the warning signs. Seeking medical guidance immediately when these symptoms are detected can lead to a person having the best possible mesothelioma prognosis. This is due to the fact that if mesothelioma were caught in stage 1, the patient would have all mesothelioma treatment options available to them. Having all treatment options available is extremely beneficial as this leads to a higher chance of a successful treatment and will allow the patient to not simply live longer but to enjoy the life they live free of all the negative side effects from chemo and radiation therapy.