Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos. This type of cancer starts in the mesothelium, which is the lining that surrounds the organs in the body. This double lining forms a sack that holds fluid that protects the organs. When cancer tumors form in the mesothelium, the cancer Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed.
There are several different types of Mesothelioma. The type depends on where the tumors are located in the body. Different mesothelium lining has different names inside the body. The three most common types of Mesothelioma include:
1. Pleural Mesothelioma – This type of cancer begins in the lining of the lungs.
2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma – This type of cancer begins in the lining of the intestines.
3. Pericardial Mesothelioma – This type of cancer begins in the lining surrounding the heart.
The symptoms of Mesothelioma are generally caused by the increased fluid buildup in the sack that surrounds the organ. This causes pain and discomfort, which are generally the first symptoms of this type of cancer. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of Mesothelioma. General symptoms include:
* Chest pain
* Shortness of Breath
* Difficulty breathing
* Night sweats
* Weight loss
* Changes in the voice
* Diaphragm complications
* Decreased appetite
The general symptoms can be accompanied by more specific symptoms related to the specific type of Mesothelioma. Specific symptoms related to Pleural Mesothelioma include:
* Chest/rib cage pain
* Continuous cough, ranging from mild to severe
* Difficulty breathing/ Shortness of breath
* Quick and unexplained weight loss
Peritoneal Mesothelioma symptoms can include:
* Tissue/mass formation in abdomen
* Swelling in abdomen, anemia
* Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
* Continuous fever
Pericardial Mesothelioma symptoms can include common symptoms plus:
* Constant sleepiness
* Irregular heart beat
* Difficulty breathing
* Regular and continuous cough
* Chest pain, mild to severe
Many of the symptoms of Mesothelioma are similar regardless of the disease type. This type of cancer spreads (metastasizes) quickly. This is one of the fastest moving types of cancer. On average, the survival rate of people diagnosed with Mesothelioma is 12 to 18 months from the date of diagnosis.
The symptoms of metastatic mesothelioma can include:
* General aches and pains
* Neck/face inflammation
* Difficulty swallowing food
The symptoms and types of Mesothelioma can be confusing and overwhelming. There are many different treatment options for patients with Mesothelioma. However, the best treatments depend on the type and stage of Mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis and at the time of treatment. There is no cure for Mesothelioma at this time. However, researchers are working hard to find options to help slow the progression of the disease and increase quality of life.