What exactly is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can affect the lung, abdominal, or heart regions of the body. Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, which protects the major organs of the body. This form of cancer is the result of exposure to asbestos dust and fibers and can take twenty to forty years to develop. There is no cure for mesothelioma, although treatments are being discovered that can extend the lifespan of the sufferer slightly. Once developed, the average lifespan of the victim is around six to twelve months.
Are there different variations of this cancer?
Yes, there are three forms of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma. Each of these affects a different part of the body. All types have the same long latency period, and all can kill within months of manifestation of symptoms.
What are the three variations of mesothelioma?
The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, and this is the form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. This is where fluid forms between the chest cavity and the lungs. Some of the symptoms relating to this form of mesothelioma include breathing and swallowing difficulties, shortness of breath, fever, coughing, weight loss and coughing up blood.
The second most common form of this cancer is peritoneal mesothelioma, and this form of the cancer affects the mesothelium around the stomach and abdominal area. The pressure of the tumors against the abdominal wall creates a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, weight loss, chest pain, breathing problems, bowel obstruction, anemia, fever, and blood clotting abnormalities.
The rarest form of the cancer is pericardial mesothelioma, and this form of the cancer affects the protective lining around the heart. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include chest pain, persistent coughing, fever and palpitations.
Is mesothelioma difficult to diagnose?
Mesothelioma is a cancer that is notoriously difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons. Firstly, the disease has such as long latency period that there are no symptoms to diagnose for many years, which means that by the time a diagnosis is made, it is often too late for any form of effective treatment to be administered. Also, many of the symptoms linked to mesothelioma are very non-specific, which means that they could apply to a variety of other more common diseases, so misdiagnoses can easily be made.
What can I do if I develop mesothelioma?
Although there is no cure for this cancer, there are treatments available that can help to alleviate symptoms and even extend your lifespan. You need to ensure that you are monitored by your doctor every step of the way. You can also ask about support groups, where you will be able to get together with others in the same situation in order to come to terms with your illness. And finally, you should look into claiming compensation for your illness, which can be done through a specialized asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer.
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