Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer and mesothelioma symptoms can be similar to many other diseases and ailments. Most people who are concerned about mesothelioma symptoms are those who worked around asbestos or who had a loved one die of an asbestos related disease such as asbestosis or mesothelioma. Thankfully, the frequency of mesothelioma is very small. About 2,000 cases occur each year in the United States, which makes it a very rare cancer.
There are a number of different symptoms associated with each type of mesothelioma. The symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to so many other diseases that only a proper work-up, including scans and perhaps a biopsy, can determine if the underlying cause of your symptoms is mesothelioma or something else. If you think you may have mesothelioma, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that he or she can order the appropriate tests.
What Are the Most Common Mesothelioma Symptoms?
Anyone who worked around asbestos will be concerned about being diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer or disease. The symptoms can vary and depend on the size and location of the cancer.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Pleural Mesothelioma symptoms may include:
Dry Cough or Wheezing
Pain in the Chest or Abdomen
Shortness of Breath
Initial Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is found in the chest and the initial symptoms can include coughing, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Obviously these symptoms can be related to a number of different health issues. Therefore, it’s important to see your doctor and get a proper work-up to determine the actual cause.
Advanced Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
If pleural mesothelioma is more advanced, other symptoms may be experienced by the patient. The size of any tumors and whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) can play a role in these symptoms which may include:
Coughing Up Blood
Blood Clotting Disorders
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Peritoneal Mesothelioma symptoms may include:
Feeling of Fullness
Abdominal Swelling / Tenderness
Loss of Appetite
Initial Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma involves the abdominal area and the initial symptoms may include weight loss, abdominal swelling and fatigue. These symptoms are also similar to other health problems. Therefore, if you are experiencing these problems it is important to see your licensed healthcare provider to find out what is going on.
Advanced Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
For peritoneal mesothelioma, a study published in 2007 found symptoms (both initial and advanced) to include:
clinical presentation with fever of unknown origin
And a study from 2003 found, “Pain was the most common symptom (recorded in 33% of patients); increased abdominal girth occurred in 31%, increased abdominal girth and pain in 5%, and a new onset hernia in 12%.”
If you have mesothelioma symptoms ask your licensed healthcare provider about the possibility of this disease especially if you have had exposure to asbestos.
Lung Scarring and Mesothelioma Surgery-Mesothelioma patients with scarring on their lungs may have more complications after surgery. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that often affects the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. If asbestos fibers are inhaled, it can become trapped in the membrane lining the lungs. This membrane is called the pleura. The trapped asbestos fibers can irritate the pleura. Over time, this long-term irritation causes scarring of the lungs. Doctors call this “pleural thickening”. It is possible for the scar tissue to become thick enough to impair breathing. A common treatment for mesothelioma is surgery. A surgeon will remove as much of the mesothelioma tumors as possible. This is often followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Receiving surgery can be … Continue reading Lung Scarring and Mesothelioma Surgery»
Follow-Up Care for Mesothelioma: What Happens After Treatment?-A new UK study on follow-up care for mesothelioma finds that patients need more continuity, timely information, and more input from their caregivers. The study focused on three National Health Service facilities in the South of England. Two were secondary care hospitals and the third was a tertiary care center. A tertiary care center has special, high-level expertise in mesothelioma care. Researchers talked to patients, nurses, caregivers, and members of practice groups called clinical commissioning groups. They used the feedback to develop the UK’s first set of best practices for follow-up care for mesothelioma. They now plan to share these best practices with clinicians across the country to improve after-care for all mesothelioma patients. The Importance of Follow-Up Care for … Continue reading Follow-Up Care for Mesothelioma: What Happens After Treatment?»
Mesothelioma-Related Weight Loss: Synthetic Cannabinoid Might Help-The first patient has been treated in the trial of a new drug that might help people suffering from mesothelioma-related weight loss. The drug is a synthetic cannabinoid called ART27.13. A cannabinoid is a compound that acts on the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. There are a number of cannabinoid drugs on the market. But several of them have significant side effects, including effects on the brain. Preclinical data on ART27.13 suggest that it may stimulate the appetite and counter mesothelioma-related weight loss with fewer unwanted side effects. The Cancer Appetite Recovery Study (CAReS) is a Phase I trial to test it in people. The Danger of Mesothelioma-Related Weight Loss Over 60 percent of late-stage cancer patients … Continue reading Mesothelioma-Related Weight Loss: Synthetic Cannabinoid Might Help»
Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study-Irradiating the tracts through which certain interventions are performed can reduce the risk of metastatic pleural mesothelioma. That word comes from a new study in Singapore. The pleural form of malignant mesothelioma occurs on the lining around the lungs. Doctors often have to insert tools through the chest wall for diagnosis or treatment. The paths or tracts along which they insert those tools can be the site of new mesothelioma tumors. But the study shows that timely radiation treatment of those paths may prevent metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Metastatic Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis is when cancer cells move from their original site to another place in the body. A tumor that is contained in one spot is easier to treat or remove. … Continue reading Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study»
Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy-A new Danish study suggests that, when it comes to palliative chemotherapy for mesothelioma, patients, families, and doctors may have very different expectations. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. It is not curable but chemotherapy can sometimes slow it down. Palliative chemotherapy is chemotherapy aimed at relieving mesothelioma symptoms. But researchers at Odense University and University of Southern Denmark say nearly a third of families expect palliative chemotherapy to cure their cancer. This was especially true of patients younger than 70. Palliative Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Chemotherapy has been the main treatment for mesothelioma since the early 2000s. Pemetrexed (Alimta) and a platinum drug like cisplatin is the standard drug combination. But this treatment is rarely a cure. … Continue reading Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy»
Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis-UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms. The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high. Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications. Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis»
Malignant Pleural Effusions: Comparing Treatment Costs-An indwelling pleural catheter may be the most effective way to deal with malignant pleural effusions in mesothelioma patients, but it can also be very costly. Spanish researchers reached that conclusion after evaluating four different studies including 152 patients. Their analysis shows that IPCs do help people with malignant pleural effusions feel better. But the procedure tends to be more complicated in people with pleural mesothelioma. This can make it much more expensive for them. The Problem of Malignant Pleural Effusions Malignant pleural effusions occur when fluid builds up between the layers of the pleural membrane surrounding the lungs. It is a common problem in people with advanced mesothelioma and several other types of cancer. The fluid is a byproduct … Continue reading Malignant Pleural Effusions: Comparing Treatment Costs»
Ascites in Mesothelioma: Shunt Improves Quality of Life-A shunt that drains excess fluid out of the abdomen is a safe and effective way to relieve the symptoms of ascites in mesothelioma patients. That’s according to a new report published in Cancer Research and Therapeutics. Ascites is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. It is a common side effect of peritoneal mesothelioma that can negatively impact quality of life. But a team of Japanese researchers say an intervention called the Denver shunt can alleviate ascites in mesothelioma and other cancers. It can do so without some of the downsides of other methods. In the right people, the shunt does not tend to cause serious complications. The researchers say the key to success is careful patient selection. What … Continue reading Ascites in Mesothelioma: Shunt Improves Quality of Life»
Smartphone Monitoring System Helps Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms-A new study shows a system that connects doctors and patients via smartphone may make it easier to manage mesothelioma symptoms. Mesothelioma tumors grow quickly on the membrane around the lungs. Mesothelioma patients tend to have many physical symptoms. Researchers in the UK tested a mesothelioma-specific version of a symptom management system. Their study shows patients felt better with easier access to a doctor to help them manage mesothelioma symptoms. Symptoms of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of asbestos cancer. As tumors grow, the pleural membrane becomes less pliable. This makes it harder for the lungs to expand. The space around the lungs can also fill up with fluid (pleural effusions) as the body tries … Continue reading Smartphone Monitoring System Helps Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms»
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