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Mesothelioma - Know the Signs

Posted Sep 29 2010 9:15am

The following is a guest blog by Alex Johnson,

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which stems primarily from exposure to asbestos . It usually begins to show noticeable symptoms anywhere from 15 to as many as 50 years after the initial exposure. When the symptoms begin to show it means that the cancer is already present in the body and immediate action must be taken. Persons with a history of exposure to asbestos should inform their doctor and take the greatest care to have regular checkups so that the doctor, armed with this information, can be on the lookout for any signs of danger. This should be done even if the patient appears to be in perfect health and whether or not they are exhibiting mesothelioma symptoms . Undergoing regular X-rays of the chest and lungs as well as regular pulmonary function tests will help the patient and his doctor to stay aware of the patient’s exact condition as well as make sure any signs of mesothelioma are spotted as early as possible.

Because the symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to those of many other, less serious complications, persons afflicted can often remain unaware of their situation for far too long. Here are some things to look out for.

There are four types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for around six out of every ten cases of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the next most common form. Rarer is pericardial mesothelioma and testicular mesothelioma. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include any long term, dry cough which produces hardly any or no phlegm. A cough that produces blood may also be a symptom of this type of mesothelioma. Other symptoms include steady pain in the area of the chest and lungs, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and fatigue. When lumps begin to appear around the chest area under the skin, this can be a sign of slightly more advanced pleural mesothelioma. At this point, any delays in seeking treatment can be very dangerous.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may come in the form of feverish nights and unexplained weight loss . The abdomen may swell slightly and cause pain, nausea, or vomiting. Bowel movements may change in consistency and anemia may develop along with increased feelings of fatigue. Once again, when lumps appear under the skin around the area of the chest and lungs, this is a final warning sign and immediate action should be taken.

While treatment can be administered if the illness is caught early enough, if early symptoms of mesothelioma are ignored, the illness could progress into the more serious stages and harsh complications could ensue.

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