MESOTHELIOMA IS A RARE CANCER THAT OCCURS IN THE THIN LAYER OF TISSUE THAT COVERS THE MAJORITY OF YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS
Symptoms depend on where the cancer occurs. Pleural Mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include: Chest pain under the rib cage Painful coughing Shortness of breath Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest Unexplained weight loss
Peritoneal Mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include: Abdominal pain Abdominal swelling Lumps of tissue in the abdomen Unexplained weight loss People with pleural Mesothelioma live longer and have less pain and shortness of breath
Treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and your age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
When someone visits their doctor with Mesothelioma symptoms, the doctor will ask several questions regarding their past and present medical history. It is important to mention any possible exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos and other toxins. Pleural Mesothelioma can initially be misdiagnosed because physicians want to consider more common disorders before looking at less likely possibilities.
Most people with malignant Mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos. Usually, this involves men over 40 years of age. Others have been exposed to asbestos in a household environment, often without knowing it. Interestingly, the number of new cases of Mesothelioma has been relatively stable since 1983, the same time that the restrictions on asbestos were instituted by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Europe, the number of new cases of Mesothelioma continues to rise.
Can I be assured the cancer will never come back? No, it is not possible to guarantee that once you have completed cancer treatment your cancer will never come back. Although your doctor may say, “Your cancer is gone” or “I think I removed all the cancer” or “I see no evidence of any cancer,” the fact remains that there is always a chance that there are some cancer cells left in your body that survived, even though they cannot be seen or found with any test used today. These cells can begin to grow over time and cause your cancer to recur. And while you don’t want to ever think about the chance of having a second cancer, it is possible. Having one cancer doesn’t make you immune to having a second or even a third different cancer.