This is an rare form of cancer, usually related to exposure to asbestos. In Mesothelioma, cancerous cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the bodies internal organs. The most common site for Mesothelioma is the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity (known as the pleura lining), but it may also occur in the lining of the abdominal cavity (also known as the peritoneum) or the outer lining of the heart (pericardium).
Individuals who develop Mesothelioma have typically worked in jobs where they were exposed to asbestos particles via airborne means, or by direct contract with contaminated materials used by loved ones or friends in such occupations.
It may take upwards of 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos for Mesothelioma symptoms to become apparent. Among the symptoms of Mesothelioma one might see, the primary two associated with plural cavity Mesothelioma are:
- shortness of breath
- pain in the chest - most likely due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space
Symptoms of Mesothelioma that are affecting the peritoneal cavity may include
- weight loss
- abdominal swelling
- pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity).
- bowel obstruction
- blood clotting abnormalities
If the cancer has spread then the symptoms may diversify as well. General symptoms of metastasized Mesothelioma may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
All symptoms on this page may be caused by Mesothelioma, especially if the individual had a prior exposure to high levels of asbestos earlier in life. However, all of these symptoms can be caused by less serious conditions.
Posted by Staff at July 21, 2005 11:59 PMblog comments powered by Disqus