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Mesothelioma Symptoms

Every person is affected by cancer in a different way. Some people do not realize they have cancer because the symptoms are light and sometimes even non-existent. This is especially true for those who develop mesothelioma later in life. Workers who were exposed to asbestos in their workplace or homes over thirty years ago were not familiar with the side effects and life threatening diseases that could arise from the toxic material.

It is crucial for a patient who believes they may be affected by asbestos to contact their doctor for testing. The diagnosis of mesothelioma is important because it allows the doctors to decide on appropriate treatment. If mesothelioma is detected in the earlier stages, it is easier to diagnose and treat. Early stages of mesothelioma, however, can share the same symptoms as pneumonia.

The inhalation of asbestos fibers causes the cells of the mesothelium to become abnormal and divide. This, in turn, causes the formation of a cancerous tumor. These tumors make it difficult for the lungs to expand comfortably. Larger tumors that spread within the chest wall cause significant pain and discomfort. The build up of fluid can cause pain in the chest while lying down. The spreading of cancerous cells wreaks havoc on the functions of the body. Extreme fatigue, inability to absorb nutrients, and the spreading of cancerous cells to other body parts is always a danger that some patients experience.

If a person has been exposed to asbestos, they should look for the following symptoms: shortness of breath, severe cough, and chest pain. Some symptoms that are often uncommon with those who are diagnosed include: weight loss, fever, and night sweats. Remember, lack of symptoms delays the diagnosis process and causes the severity of the cancer to rise.

The diagnosis of mesothelioma is often a difficult task because the symptoms resemble those of other serious conditions. The first step in the process is a complete physical and analysis of medical history. From there, the doctor will conclude which test is right for determining the condition. Some forms of testing consist of, x-rays, a CT scan or an MRI scan. The different scans available help your doctor determine the difference between other lung diseases and mesothelioma.

Asbestos related diseases are most accurately tested by the use of a biopsy. This method is the easiest way to take a sample of the tumor or liquid around the tumor and send it to the lab for analysis. There are two methods for biopsy-type testing. The first is a thoracoscopy which allows the doctors to take a sample from the patient’s chest and perhaps even remove the visible tumor. The second instance is a mediasincoscopy, which allows the doctors to sample the tissue taken just above the breast bone, analyze more information on the type of cancer, and determine whether the cancer has spread.