Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that occurs in a thin layer of tissue that covers a variety of internal organs. Mesothelioma is a deadly and very aggressive form of cancer. There are two types of Mesothelioma: pleural malignant mesothelioma; found around the lungs and peritoneal mesothelioma; which is found around the testicles and heart.
How Do You Know if You Have Mesothelioma?
Symptoms and signs of Mesothelioma depend on where the cancer is located. With Pleural mesothelioma, symptoms may include painful coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss and unusual lumps of tissues under the skin on your chest. With peritoneal mesothelioma, the symptoms may include abdominal swelling, abdominal pain, lumps of tissue in the abdomen and unexplained weight loss. It is important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the above symptoms. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos. It is important to note that there are factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma such as having a personal history of being exposed to asbestos, living with someone who works with asbestos or from receiving a polio vaccine.
Complications can occur with this kind of cancer such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the neck or face and an accumulation of fluid in the chest. During an examination, your doctor will look for any lumps or other unusual signs and may order a chest x-ray or a CT scan to find out what is causing your symptoms. A biopsy may also be performed.
How Is Mesothelioma Treated?
There are certain treatment plans for mesothelioma but a treatment plan depends on the symptoms you are having and what the x-rays, biopsy results or CT scan show. Surgery is one treatment option and is done when an early diagnosis is made. It is important to note that in some cases, surgery may cure the cancer if it is diagnosed early. Chemotherapy is another treatment option for mesothelioma. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by using chemical means and it is sometimes used before surgery to make an operation go smoother or used after surgery.
Radiation therapy is another treatment option. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams on a certain spot or spots on your body. Radiation therapy is sometimes used after surgery or after a biopsy in order to prevent this disease from spreading to the surgical incision.
To conclude, mesothelioma is a serious illness but there are treatment options that can help. In addition, there are other alternative treatments that help those who have trouble with breathlessness such as breath training, acupuncture, relaxation exercises or sitting near a fan to lessen the sensation of breathlessness.