Pleural Mesothelioma cancer takes over decades to develop in one’s body. But, once it develops, it attacks hard and fast on a person. It mainly occurs as a result of exposure to asbestos. The tiny microscopic asbestos fibers, when inhaled can result in a thin lining all over the surface of lungs and result in physiological changes in body cells. This finally results in this aggressive and rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma cancer. The American cancer society, at www.cancer.org, had also published as an article about the fatal disease quite recently.
Major Issue- Late Detection
The major letdown of this disease is that it is often detected at a later stage of the disease only. Most of the patients do not realize about this condition and lead a normal life for months or even years. Most of the initial symptoms are mistaken as some small illness and are not given the required care and attention. It can be subtle symptoms like a slight chest pain, shortness of breath while performing physical activities or even a slight tiredness and fatigue. Such subtle symptoms won’t be taken as a big deal by most of the patients, and thus they go one without treating the cause.
In such cases, since this cancer occurs as a result of asbestos exposure, if you ever had asbestos exposure or even suspect having asbestos exposure, it is better to consult a physician and get yourself tested. It always better to be safe than sorry. Only an early detection can give rays of hopes of survival.
Another issue is that Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and most of the medical professionals also rarely see this form of a disease. Hence, most often the symptoms go undetected. Most of the symptoms will be something that affects the respiratory system. Almost 2000 people from the United States are diagnosed with Pleural Mesothelioma on a yearly basis.
Most of the initial symptoms are mistook as asthma, pneumonia or some other respiratory disease. Even specialist doctors will need to conduct a detailed study, analysis and various complex tests to diagnose this form of cancer. A study conducted in the year 2011 on 221 Pleural Mesothelioma patients proves that most of them had similar symptoms way too early before it was diagnosed and treated.
Some of the common symptoms experienced by all these patients were shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest pains, significant weight loss and some even had pleural effusion in which excess quantity of fluids are found all around the lungs.
If by any chance you experience any of these symptoms and also have the previous history of asbestos exposure it is better to get yourself tested as soon as possible.
Early detections often occur accidentally when the patient gets some routine tests or X-rays done as a part of some routine medical checkup. In such stages, the tumor would be very small, and chances of treatment and survival are high. Among all the above-mentioned symptoms, chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Always get yourself tested on a regular basis and report to a physician if you experience any of these symptoms!