Discovering the Fact Regarding Malignant Mesothelioma

Lung Cancer is Never Routine

Did you know that the most recent national statistics reported by the Center for Disease Control indicate that the second leading cause for death in the United States is cancer? While the number one cause for death is heart disease, the official United States Federal Cancer Statistics (USCS) indicates one out of every four deaths is caused by cancer. And lung cancer is currently the third most common form of all cancers.

Malignant Mesothelioma

The Oxford dictionary defines mesothelioma as a cancer of mesothelial tissue. While generally considered to be a rare form of cancer, malignant mesothelioma usually affects the lungs and is associated with exposure to asbestos. For about fifty years, from the 1930s to the 1980s, asbestos was frequently used in a variety of industries. Consequently, anyone who comes in contact with these asbestos fibers is at risk and may develop mesothelioma at some point in the future.

Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

While each person has unique experiences with malignant mesothelioma, there are some early symptoms that may signal the need for you to seek medical consultation. If you are experiencing pain in your chest area or unusual shortness of breath, it is time to talk with your doctor. Some of the other signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Pneumonia

Four Types of Mesothelioma

Did you know that there are four types of mesothelioma? While about 80 percent of malignant mesothelioma occurs in the lungs, there are three other physical locations where cancer of mesothelial tissue can develop. More specifically, approximately 10 percent of malignant mesothelioma affects the stomach, and the balance of cases involves either the heart or testicular mesothelioma. The symptoms of these different types of mesothelioma vary.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

There are three major treatment options available for someone diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The following options are available, and frequently an individual’s treatment plan may include a combination of two or more of these treatment plans:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

These treatment strategies are tailored or customized to fit each individual’s circumstances. The goal of these interventions is to prolong one’s lifespan, enhance the quality of the patient’s life, and reduce painful symptoms. Not every patient will be eligible for all three options. Your doctor will be able to discuss the qualifying health and medical criteria used for each treatment plan. Without question, early detection is a major key to a successful treatment plan. Be sure to consult your family physician if you have questions, concerns, or any of the early symptoms.