By Ben O’Rourke
Confirming if Mesothelioma is present is done through a biopsy, performed by an oncologist or even a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer pathologies, removes a small sample of tissue from a patient and examines it using a microscope. Difficulty breathing, abdominal and chest pain, and fever can all be attributed to other causes, so this cancer can have the time to advance fairly well before diagnosis of the disease.
Because of the difficulty in diagnosing mesothelioma, the survival time after diagnosis is estimated at about one year. The time that occurs between exposure and the start of the disease, and the rate at which it progresses, makes diagnosis extremely difficult. Early diagnosis is thus crucial in treating this particular form of cancer.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma may not appear for up to 30 to 50 years after exposure.
Anyone who has been exposed to this type of asbestos may not have any kind of symptoms for up to forty years. An individual may visit a doctor numerous times with the symptoms but they are more often considered as respiratory infections. The non-specific symptoms can make it difficult for even experienced doctors to make a quick and conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma patients.
Take note that these symptoms may be due to other reasons also. If you have a tumor in the pleura, which is the membrane surrounding the lungs, other symptoms that can occur are chest pain, coughing and a difficulty with breathing. The outer and inner layers of the pleura can become thickened. The most common Mesothelioma symptoms is a shortness of breath and pain in the chest region.
Peritoneal mesothelioma can also include other uncomfortable symptoms like bowel obstruction, clotting of the blood, anemia or fever. This is why diagnosis of Mesothelioma cancer is very difficult in many cases, because its symptoms may be associated with other diseases too.
If this chemical is inhaled, it can be extremely toxic and thus cause this type of cancer. As asbestos fibers are released into the air they can be inhaled or digested which can cause the cancer. When asbestos fibres accumulate in the peritoneum (which is the lining of the abdomen) this can lead to peritoneal mesothelioma and the building up of fibres around the tissue of the heart causing pericardial mesothelioma.
If asbestos fibres accumulate in the lining of the lungs this can result in cells nearby becoming deformed eventually resulting in what is called pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare disease which attacks the lining of the lung and chest cavity and is usually cancerous, caused as a result of asbestos exposure and it could take 15 to 35 years to develop the disease, from the time of the asbestos exposure. Smoking does not cause it. The only known, established cause of Mesothelioma is asbestos.
To repeat, the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer is linked to exposure to asbestos fibers which are breathed into the lungs or swallowed.
The most common and the basic form of Mesothelioma treatment is through surgery. Radiation treatment and chemotherapy may be helpful in the overall treatment program. Compensation received can help in alleviating some of the burden of the medical treatment costs, particularly for anyone who is uninsured, and can help an individual to live in a more comfortable way,obviously.
If Mesothelioma is actually diagnosed and if the cancerous tumor is small enough, surgery may be fairly successful. If this is not the case and the tumor is large, there is no successful treatment available, although sometimes radiotherapy may be used to help with relieving the symptoms. Research is being carried out in various research labs all over the USA and many pharmaceutical companies are also trying to come up with new drug and treatment methods. Your chances of recovering from Mesothelioma and the kind of treatment that will be used depends on what stage the illness is at.
As mentioned before, the type of mesothelioma has an impact on the prognosis, including the age of the patient, how much the tumor has actually developed and if treatment was given.
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