What Should You Know About Mesothelioma?

Malignant Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that most commonly affects the lung tissue. Unfortunately, this type of cancer can be deadly, though treatments can prolong life, especially if caught in the earlier stages. Pleural mesothelioma is most often caused by asbestos exposure which can occur years before a person has any symptoms at all.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

It is imperative those who work in industries that could have led to asbestos exposure have their lungs checked on a regular basis. It is also important individuals understand the symptoms they should look for so they can seek medical treatment if they experience any signs of Asbestosis or Mesothelioma.

  • Chest pain that occurs under the rib cage
  • Chronic coughs that are painful
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained lumps of tissue in the chest area
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling in the abdominal region
  • Unexplained weight loss

Should a person begin experiencing any of these symptoms, they need to see their doctor immediately so an examination and testing can be performed to see if the disease is present. With prompt treatment, the disease can be better managed.

Understanding the Diagnostic Process

There are many professionals that are involved in the diagnostic process for mesothelioma patients. Generally, a patient will first see their general practitioner when they begin developing signs of the disease. Several tests may be performed, including blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans. It is important an accurate diagnosis is achieved so the right treatment plan can be drawn up.

The medical professionals involved in the diagnosis of mesothelioma include:

  • Oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Pulmonologists

How Is the Disease Treated?

If a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, aggressive treatment is often necessary to ensure the disease remains under control. Unfortunately, this disease is often difficult to manage so a team of medical professionals will usually be involved in the treatment process.

Treatment may involve surgical procedures, radiation, chemotherapy and certain types of medication. The treatment offered will depend on the stage of the disease. With prompt treatment, the symptoms can be better managed and quality of life protected for as long as possible. If you suspect you may have this disease or you have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor immediately.