Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

Mesothelioma refers to the development of cancer in the linings of lungs, stomach and chest. It is one of the very rare types of cancers. Mesothelioma has been in the limelight only in recent years. It is mainly caused due to direct or indirect exposure to asbestos. The worst thing about this cancer is there is no warning signs or symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. The growth of cancer is too slow and there would be no apparent mesothelioma symptoms for 20 years to 40 years after exposing to asbestos. It is classified into different types based on the area affected and the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer vary with each subtype. Let us see the symptoms and treatment of mesothelioma cancer in detail.

Early symptoms of mesothelioma:

Even though it might take years for progression of the cancer, mesothelioma is characterised by two symptoms in the initial stage of cancer. The two early symptoms of mesothelioma cancer is shortness of breath or breathlessness and difficulty in breathing. Breathing problem is accompanied with the chest burn and some kind of discomfort in the chest. More than 95% of patients affected y mesothelioma cancer has these two common signs as their early symptoms. Unfortunately, many of the people who experience these early symptoms are likely to ignore the same, which apparently put them into big trouble. So, if anyone suffers from these symptoms with direct or indirect exposure to asbestos, the facts should be reported immediately to the physician to diagnose the condition.

As stated earlier, different parts of the body are affected by mesothelioma cancer and each type is characterised by different symptoms of mesothelioma.

Symptoms of mesothelioma when the lungs are affected:

• Shortness of breath

• Pain the chest region and chest wall

• Chronic cough

• Wheezing

Symptoms of mesothelioma when the stomach is affected:

• Weight loss

• Swollen abdomen

• Accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity

• Pain due to accumulation of fluids

• Anaemia

• Pain or trouble in swallowing

Symptoms of mesothelioma when the lungs are affected:

• Chest pain from mild to severe

• Cough from mild to severe

• Heart Palpitations

The above mentioned symptoms of mesothelioma are attributed with this cancer in the milder stage. Now let us see what are the symptoms of mesothelioma, during the severe condition.

• Blood clotting in arteries and veins

• Severe bleeding from several organs due to scattered intravascular coagulation

• Jaundice

• Reduction the level of blood sugar

• Absence of appetite

• Rapid weight loss

• Vision loss with change in voice

Treatment of mesothelioma:

Mesothelioma is treated using three different kind of traditional methods of treatment which consist of Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Surgery is performed to remove the cancer cells from the affected parts

Radiation therapy is given through passing high level of energy rays for killing or destroying the cancer cells, which are not removed by surgery. Sometimes, it is provided initially to reduce or shrink the tumors, which is followed by removing the same through surgery.

Chemotherapy is the type of treatment where drugs are used to destroy the cancer. The chemotherapeutic drugs are quite toxic and it is prescribed only to the patients who are severely affected.

In addition to these traditional treatment options, few additional therapies have been introduced for enhanced results, which include the following:

• Immunotherapy – It assists in treatment of mesothelioma by enhancing the strength of immune system to resist against the cancer

• Photodynamic therapy – Light energy is passed to destroy the tumors

Since the condition is progressed and diagnosed only after growth of cancerous cell to certain extent, treatment is offered by combining one or more methods given above. However, surgery is given to almost 99% of patients affected by mesothelioma cancer.

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