Mesothelioma - Types and Symptoms

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is most commonly caused by an exposure to asbestos. However, mesothelioma symptoms do not show up for many decades after the asbestos exposure. There are mainly three types of mesothelioma: Pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial, and all of them have terrible effects on the victim and their family.

Mesothelioma is not a common form of cancer and it is also the most deadly of all diseases related to asbestos exposure. Keep in mind that just because it is uncommon, it is not considered a rare type of cancer. Because the symptoms mesothelioma exhibits are not very unique as they also tend to show up in other diseases, it is often difficult to diagnose. Treatment may no longer be effective by the time a diagnosis is made. It is one of the least responsive cancers to treatment.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the chest and lungs of its victim. From the chest and lungs, it spreads to different organs in the body, including the brain. Pleural mesothelioma is often not easy to detect. Survival rates are usually about a year and a half from the onset of their symptoms. A very small percentage may survive three to five years.

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include: * Pain in a specific area of the chest that doesn't seem to go away. * Shortness of breath or breathing problems due to fluid buildup in the chest. * Weight loss * Fever * Aneamia{low blood levels} * Fatigue * Coughing up blood * Jaundice * Low blood sugar * Blood clots * Tumor masses

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdomen and many times spreads to nearby organs, such as the spleen, liver, or bowels. The survival rate is very low, with most patients surviving about ten months after the development of symptoms.

Common peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include: * Severe abdominal pain * Excessive fluid in the abdomen area * Difficult bowel movements * Nausea and vomiting * Fever * Swollen feet

Pericardial mesothelioma affects the heart and is the least common of the mesothelioma-related cancers. This type of cancer invades the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart. When the disease progresses, the heart is unable to deliver the right amount of oxygen to the rest of the body. The health of the victim declines very rapidly during the progression of the disease. The most common symptoms resemble a heart attack, with nausea, difficulty in breathing, and pain in the chest.

Mesothelioma treatment is with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, though there are some experimental treatments are currently been tried for the disease is still in their earlier stages. This serious disease affects more than just the victim; it affects their loved ones as well. As the effects of the disease is devastating, a lot of effort and hard work needs to be done to protect the rights of working men and women.

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