Mesothelioma Disease – What Is It And How Can It Effect You?

Mesothelioma Disease – What Is It And How Can It Effect You?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs.  Mesothelioma cancer is almost always the result of asbestos exposure, and life expectancy after mesothelioma disease is diagnosed is usually pretty short – months to a few years.  Mesothelioma is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms associated with the disease are similar to those of many other afflictions.  Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure which occurs when fibers are inhaled or ingested into the body and become lodged in body cavities, causing inflammation or infection. 

Asbestos was in thousands of different products so many people were exposed at many times in their lives.  Asbestos exposure can occur in many ways including, but not limited to, service on ships in the Navy, work aboard military or commercial ships, work as an insulator, or work in residential or commercial construction.  Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous substance that was widely used in the 20th century in a number of different industries.  There are four main types of asbestos amosite (brown fibers), Anthophyllite (gray fibers), white Christie, and blue Crocidolite.  When asbestos exposure occurs, microscopic asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs and will sometimes become embedded.

The asbestos fibers may scar the lungs, leading to asbestosis, and they may penetrate further into the mesothelium to later form mesothelioma cancer.  People with mesothelioma, like patients with other types of cancer, have greater chances of recovery if being diagnosed and treated early.  Treatment for Mesothelioma depends upon the location of the malignant cancer, the stage of the illness, and the patient’s age and general health.  This cancer occurs about four times more frequently in men than in women and all forms of mesothelioma, except for benign mesothelioma, are invariably fatal.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include pain or swelling in the abdomen due to a build-up of fluid, nausea, weight loss, bowel obstruction, anemia or swelling of the feet.  Unfortunately, the mesothelioma usually does not result any symptoms or health problems until the disease has greatly progressed.  Sometimes resembling viral pneumonia, pleural mesothelioma patients may present with shortness of breath, chest pain and/or persistent cough; some patients show no symptoms at all.  Less common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include fever, night sweats and weight loss.  Typically, symptoms of Mesothelioma do not appear until 20 or more years after exposure to asbestos.

Advanced malignant Mesothelioma disease can again be divided into 3 stages namely stage II, III and IV.  The mesothelioma disease usually takes twenty or more years to develop, and people that worked with asbestos in the 1970s may currently start showing signs of disease.

After diagnosis, patients and their loved ones are often anxious to do everything possible to fight mesothelioma.  Billions of dollars have been set aside for the victims of mesothelioma and their families.

Do you want to learn more about mesothelioma and it’s effects? For more information and informative articles, visit: The Mesothelioma Disease Blog


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