The Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma can trick even a medical professional. They so closely resemble signs of common ailments that doctors can make mistakes in their diagnosis of a patient for decades. This article provides key indicators of what you should know regarding mesothelioma and its symptoms.
What are mesothelioma’s cautionary signs?
Mesothelioma is a challenging disease to identify because its symptoms mask those of other illnesses. Most people miss symptoms of mesothelioma because they mistake them for common infirmities. A person might even display symptoms for up to 4 decades before they realize that they have it. Typically though, mesothelioma presents increased symptoms two to three months before one is diagnosed with it.
Over half of mesothelioma cancer patients experience some form of back or chest pain and recurrent episodes of shortness of breath. A lesser amount of individuals suffer from difficulty swallowing, weight loss and a persistent cough. Further symptoms of mesothelioma include loss of senses, muscle weakness and hemoptysis.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is associated with the abdomen and thus symptoms like abdominal discomfort, weight loss and queasiness are seen in the patient. Fluid may also accumulate in the stomach as a result of mesothelioma.
The prime risk factor for symptoms of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Any person who has been exposed to asbestos and showing these symptoms should consult an oncologist immediately. Be sure that you seek the guidance of an oncologist who focuses on malignancies of the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
What is the latency period for mesothelioma to present symptoms?
Mesothelioma is marked by its unique characteristic of a long latency period. The latency period is the time after initial asbestos exposure that it takes mesothelioma to present symptoms in the patient. Some mesothelioma patients develop symptoms 10 years after asbestos exposure, where the vast majority don’t display symptoms until 30 to 40 years later. Most patients are in the latter stages, once a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made. At this time, treatment options are restricted to mostly palliative care.
Key Indicators of Mesothelioma:
Patients can experience a number of symptoms of mesothelioma. Some of these key indicators are listed below.
- Anemia – Patients diagnosed with anemia are less likely to have an abundance of red blood cells and hemoglobin in their blood.
- Blockage of the Bowels – Blockage of the bowels is usually caused by the tumor, itself. This can be a painful and is usually seen in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.
- Chest Pain – Mostly seen in pleura and pericardial mesothelioma, chest pain can come about as the malignancy grows and invades vital organs such as the heart and lungs.
- Queasiness – The vast majority of patients suffer from queasiness of the stomach which is one of the main effects of chemotherapy and sometimes even the mesothelioma. Some patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma also have queasiness because of abdominal pressure brought on by the disease.
- Weight Loss – Weight loss can be seen in mesothelioma patients as a direct result from medical treatment and/or symptoms from the disease itself, which can bring about difficulty in swallowing.