Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs. There are several different types of mesothelioma, including pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lungs), peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the abdomen), and pericardial mesothelioma (affecting the heart).
Common symptoms of mesothelioma can include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Trouble swallowing
- Lumps under the skin on the chest
It is important to note that these symptoms can be caused by other health conditions, so it is essential to see a doctor if you have any concerns. A doctor can perform a physical examination, order diagnostic tests, and make a definitive diagnosis.
Diagnostic tests for mesothelioma can include:
- Chest X-rays
- CT scans
- MRI scans
If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The prognosis for mesothelioma is generally poor, with a median survival time of 12-21 months from the time of diagnosis. However, with prompt diagnosis and treatment, some patients can live longer.
Treatment options for mesothelioma can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and palliative care. The choice of treatment will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient.
In conclusion, mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the mesothelium. If you have a history of exposure to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms, it is important to see a doctor promptly. With early diagnosis and treatment, some patients can live longer.