Mesothelioma is a tumor that occurs on the thin lining of tissue around the organs (also known as the mesothelium). Mesothelioma can be benign, but if it is malignant, then you must get immediate medical treatment, or it will spread.
The malignant form of Mesothelioma is most commonly a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mixture of minerals that take the form of tiny fibers, and when these fibers are breathed in by humans in large quantities, it can cause Mesothelioma. People most commonly get asbestos-related Mesothelioma from jobs such as firefighters, electricians, and drywall tapers. People must know of the risks associated with asbestos exposure.
Symptoms and Treatments of Mesothelioma
All types of mesotheliomas have different symptoms, and it is pertinent that you recognize them and get them diagnosed. Here are the different types of mesothelioma and their symptoms that you should know:
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Early signs of peritoneal Mesothelioma may seem like digestive issues (such as irritable bowel syndrome) or menstrual issues (such as fibroids).
Some recurrent and common symptoms that might alarm you of Mesothelioma include abdominal pain, constipation, sudden weight loss, blood clots, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, abdominal fluid buildup, and swelling. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you must find help as soon as possible to get started with appropriate treatment.
The most common and effective form of treatment for peritoneal Mesothelioma is hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. However, since more than 60% of the patients are ineligible for surgery due to the risks, chemotherapy is used to prolong the lives of mesothelioma patients.
- Pleural Mesothelioma
During the early stages of pleural Mesothelioma, the symptoms may feel like common issues such as the flu or pneumonia. Common symptoms of early-onset Mesothelioma include shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pains, fatigue, hoarseness, fever, sore muscles, sudden weight loss, swelling of the face and arms, and difficulty breathing and swallowing.
Patients rarely complain of weight loss and fatigue during their earlier doctor appointments. The most common symptoms in the initial visits are swelling of the arms or legs and severe body pain.
Pleural mesothelioma treatments include multimodal therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. A pleurectomy may be performed to remove the cancerous layer of tissue from the lung as much as possible. Sometimes, doctors might even recommend getting extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), where part of thelung compromised by cancer is removed from the body
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
Early signs of pericardial Mesothelioma may seem like heart diseases such as pericardial arrhythmia and other congenital heart diseases. Common symptoms of pericardial Mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and heart murmurs.
Pericardial Mesothelioma develops on the pericardium layer of the heart and is very rare. However, if you think you might have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to get yourself checked out to rule it out.
The primary treatment options for pericardial Mesothelioma involve performing pericardiectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
- Testicular Mesothelioma
Early indicators of testicular Mesothelioma may seem like illnesses such as epididymitis. Common symptoms include fluid gathered in the scrotum, testicular pain, swelling in the testicular region, and a lump formed in the scrotum.
Most patients who suffer from testicular Mesothelioma come with the complaint of pain in the testicular region and lump formation on the scrotum during the initial doctor visits. However, this form of Mesothelioma accounts for less than 1% of mesothelioma cases but if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, get it checked out immediately.
The treatment for testicular Mesothelioma involves extensive resection surgery, multimodal therapy, and chemotherapy.
You must find the most experienced mesothelioma doctors out there for your treatment. Going to a mesothelioma specialist is the best option as these surgeons or doctors are very up-to-date with recent asbestos-related disease treatment.
Each form of Mesothelioma has different specialist doctors. For example, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, surgeons who specialize in thoracic surgery are the way to go. For pericardial, it is cardiovascular surgeons and peritoneal abdominal surgeons.
- Palliative Care
The world looks bleak after getting your mesothelioma diagnosis, but palliative care might help mesothelioma patients deal with their diagnosis and improve the quality of their life.
Palliative care is very different from hospice care as this method involves medical care such as chemotherapy and radiation to prolong a patient’s life. This type of care is usually given in the last stages of Mesothelioma. Patients suffer through a lot of pain and discomfort during the last stages of Mesothelioma; palliative care helps reduce these symptoms.
- Arrange Travel Support
Mesothelioma patients often have to travel for their doctors’ appointments. During the stages of Mesothelioma, the patient is like to feel very weak. Hence, it is wise to make travel arrangements beforehand from websites like air charity network so that none of the doctors’ appointments aren’t missed.
Mesothelioma patients even receive a good discount on hospital housing so they can reside there for the time being to save themselves the hassle of traveling.
- Financial Assistance
Mesothelioma patients might be entitled to some form of financial aid from the government or a settlement through a lawsuit. A lawsuit may be filed under the claims of prolonged exposure to asbestos against companies who make use of asbestos in their products.
- Emotional Support
Gettingdiagnosed with Mesothelioma is very overwhelming for patients. During these trying times, patients need strong emotional support. Besides getting support and encouragement from family to fight Mesothelioma, patients can even start one on one therapy sessions with experienced psychologists. Joining support groups where patients can talk to other patients suffering from Mesothelioma is also highly therapeutic.
Suppose you are someone who has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any symptoms related to any form of Mesothelioma. In that case, you must get that checked out by a specialist as soon as possible. If your diagnosis of Mesothelioma is positive, it is best to look into the available treatment option and any support you might require after the diagnosis.