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Mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer and one of the deadliest diseases known to man. It is almost 100% preventable; the only known cause is via exposure to the deadly mineral Asbestos. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, or by home renovation using asbestos cement products.

It's a disease that strikes approximately 3,000 United States citizens each and every year. Malignant (cancerous) cells develop in the mesothelium, the sac that lines and protects vital organs such as the heart and the lungs, and this disease causes the cells of the lining to become abnormal and malignant. A disease that has only started to come to forward in recent years, mesothelioma normally presents itself in malignant form and results in tumors in and around vital organs of the body. There are three types of Mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma; peritoneal mesothelioma; and pericardial mesothelioma. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the lungs and the protective lining and cavity of the lungs. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma result from pleural effusion, which is a build up of fluid between the lung lining and the chest cavity. Sufferers of pleural mesothelioma may experience some or all of the following symptoms: difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, weight loss, fever, coughing up of blood, and rasping. A rarer form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the stomach and abdomen. The cancer can start in the abdominal area and spread to other parts of the body, but the tumors that press against the wall of the abdomen can cause some or all of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, breathing problems, chest pain, bowel obstruction, anemia, fever, and blood clotting abnormalities. The last and the rarest of the mesothelioma types is pericardial mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the heart and the cavity that surrounds the heart. The tumors affecting pericardial mesothelioma patients can cause some or all of these symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, persistent coughing, and palpitations.


The symptoms of this disease can take many years to manifest, making both diagnosis and effective treatment very difficult. And even when the symptoms do become evident, which can take several decades, the symptoms are so generalized and non-specific that they could be put down to any number of more common diseases. This makes it hard for even experienced doctors to make a quick and conclusive diagnosis with mesothelioma patients. But the average life span of an inflicted person from the time of diagnosis until death is less than 24 months. If your doctor is unaware that you have been exposed to asbestos, he or she is unlikely to assume that you may have mesothelioma and will instead test for a number of other more common diseases that are associated with your symptoms. The diagnosis of mesothelioma will entail scans and biopsies arranged by your doctor. A CT or MRI scan is often used to detect the possible presence of the disease, and if there is a positive indication of the presence of mesothelioma, the scans are followed up by a biopsy. People who have worked with asbestos or who have close contact with someone that works with asbestos should therefore always be alert in looking out for any of these symptoms and seeking medical advice if any or all of the symptoms become noticeable.

As the number of victims affected by mesothelioma rises, it has become more important than ever to carry out extensive research into this cancer as well as educate others about it. As there is currently no long-term treatment available to mesothelioma sufferers, all that victims can do is hope that some day a breakthrough will be made by researchers and medical experts.

Used Links
1. Your Link to Mesothelioma Information
2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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