A Brief Look at Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatments
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos that afflicts millions of Americans. The problem for many who have been exposed to asbestos is that they may not develop symptoms of mesothelioma for almost a quarter of a century after their exposure. This extremely long gestation can make it very difficult for a doctor to diagnose mesothelioma. For this reason, it is important to talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos and are now experiencing a variety of unexplained symptoms.
Mesothelioma can have a variety of symptoms that are quite similar to the symptoms of other conditions. Perotoneal mesothelioma attacks the lining of the digestive system. Its symptoms may include weight loss, abdominal swelling, weakness or wasting of the body, anemia and persistent fever. Pleural mesothelioma, the type that attacks the respiratory system and especially the lungs can exhibit symptoms that may include chest pain, pleural effusion, a persistent cough and trouble catching your breath. In the more severe cases of mesothelioma the victim may develop malignant tumors, severe abdominal pain, experience a lung collapse or experience serious bowel problems. If any of these symptoms become regular and ongoing, it is important to seek medical care.
Doctors usually diagnose mesothelioma based first on the patient's history. The first clue to having mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. If you have been involved in a career in construction or demolition, in which you may have been involved with installation or removal of fireproof materials that may have included asbestos, then exhibiting any number of the above mentioned symptoms may prompt your doctor to perform CAT scans or MRI scans to look for signs of mesothelioma. For instance, if you had chest pain and a persistent cough, your physician may perform an MRI looking a build up of pleural fluid. With any form of cancer, an early intervention is preferable, so when you have unexplained symptoms like those mentioned above, it is important to discuss them with a physician.
Treatments for mesothelioma can be widely varied, depending on your physician's approach. For the most part, mesothelioma treatments are similar to the treatments recommended for most types of cancer, including radiation and chemotherapy. In addition to this, some physicians may recommend various types of surgical interventions as well. As with other types of cancer, a patient may also benefit from a variety of homeopathic remedies and general immunotherapy.
If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos in your work or in your home, it is important to have yourself screened for mesothelioma. Many companies and institutions failed to follow asbestos safety guidelines and in doing so may have put their employees in harm's way. To learn more about what you should do if you or a loved one has mesothelioma, it is important to search the Internet for information concerning symptoms and treatments for mesothelioma.