Cancer is a diagnosis no one wants to hear. Are you aware of this rare cancer, mesothelioma? It’s cancer related to exposure to asbestos and most frequently affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. About 3,000 cases occur annually, and 75% involve the lungs. This cancer may take years to show up, occupational asbestos exposure may have happened years ago. Occupations commonly associated with asbestos include military forces, auto mechanics, miners, chimney sweeps, construction workers, HVAC technicians, textile mill workers, or electricians.
The asbestos fibers lodge in the body, most commonly the lungs, and damage the tissue over time, leading to cancer. The specific type of cancer caused by asbestos is called mesothelioma cancer.
Early diagnosis is the key to more effective treatment. Consider checking with your primary provider if you experience respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pain, and a cough. Other symptoms to cause concern is fatigue, swelling, and unexplained weight loss. Early signs might be vague shoulder or abdominal pain. Knowing your exposure history and associated symptoms noted here might make a significant difference in your ability to get the best treatment.
How is this cancer diagnosed? Initially, routine tests needed are, such as x-rays and blood tests. Then CT scan and other non-invasive tests may be completed before performing a biopsy.
Treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy, and or radiation therapy. Since this cancer is rare and often misdiagnosed, you may want to get a second opinion or consult a Mesothelioma Specialist.
If you have questions, The Mesothelioma Center has a helpful website that explores this rare disease. You don’t want to miss this excellent resource should you find yourself with this diagnosis. Check out asbestos.com
The Mesothelioma Center has a team of Patient Advocates committed to helping anyone affected by mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness. Local support groups, veterans’ assistance, financial and legal options are also available through the website. Contact them today if you have questions.
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