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Mesothelioma symptoms consist of constant chest pain, wheezing, a chronic cold that worsens over a period of time, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, lung infection, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath and a loss of appetite. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma and generally causes a chronic cough and shortness of breath. These are such simple symptoms that act so much like many other diseases and illnesses that patients often ignore the symptoms until the mesothelioma is well advanced.
Mesothelioma is malignant, extremely aggressive and incurable cancer that invades the membrane, or mesothelium, that surrounds most of the internal organs.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is a frightening one and requires immediate intervention. If you have a known previous exposure to asbestos you should alert the doctor immediately to discuss your medical history. It is also beneficial to discuss any prior asbestos exposure with your doctor so that your physician knows what to look for and what test should be ordered.
Mesothelioma cancer cells lie dormant for many years and it is not uncommon for mesothelioma symptoms to appear as much as 15 to 30 years after the initial asbestos exposure. People who worked in industries such as manufacturing or construction are the ones who are at particular risk of contracting mesothelioma. With a known asbestos exposure, you should be vigilant about watching for and being familiar with mesothelioma symptoms. Routine physical exams must include a review of your medical history and a mesothelioma diagnosis must be ruled out each year that you are further removed from the asbestos exposure.
After a thorough physical exam, your physician may order a procedure called thoracoscopy in order to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. With a thoracoscopy, the physician makes a small incision into the chest and takes a small sample of lung tissue for biopsy. This tissue is then sent to the lab where it is studied to determine whether or not it is cancerous. Also, the doctor may use a device called peritoneoscope which looks inside the abdomen and can also be used to collect tissue samples for additional study. If these tests prove to be inconclusive, more tests will be ordered to determine if the mesothelioma symptoms are actually mesothelioma or another disease.
Mesothelioma symptoms are often ignored and can be confused with symptoms for the common cold or allergies. By the time mesothelioma symptoms manifest themselves, it is often too late; therefore if mesothelioma symptoms persist it is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately. Mesothelioma is a deadly aggressive disease…without a current cure. It is for this reason that mesothelioma symptoms must be taken seriously.