Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer. It affects the tissue that lines the body’s internal organs. There are four main types of mesothelioma based on location, they include:
- Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)
- Testicular Mesothelioma (Testes)
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)
Most people who develop the disease are those who have swallowed or inhaled asbestos particles over a period of time (Mesothelioma can take many years to develop after exposure; it may take anywhere between 20 to 60 years to form). There are other contributing factors that increase the risk of the mesothelioma including living with someone who works with asbestos, having a family history of the disease or receiving radiation therapy to the chest.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on the location of which the cancer develops. They can include:
- Painful coughing
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid buildup around the lungs
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Bowel obstruction
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pain in the testes
- Swelling in the scrotum
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are at risk for developing mesothelioma, it is advised that you see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can order a series of tests that may include a biopsy, imaging or blood tests. Testing can help your doctor detect mesothelioma and assign a stage.
There is no cure for mesothelioma. Treatment for the disease is dependent on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as certain aspects of your health. According to the National Cancer Institute, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.
To learn more about mesothelioma, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s website at www.cancer.gov.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.