Mesothelioma is on everyone’s minds these days. Now, that’s due, at least in some ways, to the many commercials that air on TV these days. But it’s also because it’s a dangerous and unfortunately common disease that’s worthy of our attention. Here is everything you need to know about mesothelioma and its symptoms.
Simply put, mesothelioma is a form of cancer. It specifically attacks the protective linings of various organs. Different forms of Mesothelioma affects different organs. But make no mistake, there is a version for every organ. It can affect the lungs, any of the abdominal organs, and even the heart.
Even worse, mesothelioma can affect literally anyone. It doesn’t matter your age, race, or how healthy and active you are. But, with that said, it does most commonly affect people aged 65 years or older and is more common with men than women. This is due to the fact that Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. Something that people in the construction, mechanic, emergency service or military industries are exposed to the most.
But there are plenty of symptoms you can spot in hopes of catching the disease early. Here are the most common mesothelioma symptoms:
– Chest or abdominal pain
– Respiratory complications and shortness of breath
– Wheezing or dry cough
– Night sweats
– Pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)
– Muscle weakness
Hopefully, the disease is caught early, as this will improve the long-term outcome. But in cases where it is not caught early, here are some late-stage mesothelioma symptoms:
– Difficulty swallowing
– Weight loss
– Loss of appetite
– Increased chest or abdominal pain
– Continuing respiratory complications
– Bowel obstruction
As for treatments of mesothelioma, it’s essentially the same as most cancer. Surgery is sometimes an option, sometimes involving removing the affected organ entirely if possible. But there are less aggressive surgical options, which include drawing the fluid buildup in the affected organ which can at least alleviate pain and swelling.
Mesothelioma can also be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy involves taking drugs that are specifically designed to attack and kill cancer cells. This is commonly done in addition to surgery and involves multiple ingestions of the drug over a given period of time. While radiation involves aiming high-energy x-rays directly at the infected areas where tumors are located.
If you have any further questions or are concerned about symptoms of your own, consult your doctor immediately as it’s always best to catch these things early.