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5 most common symptoms of mesothelioma


Charley Brindley


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The list of the 5 most common symptoms of mesothelioma follow the article below

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).

The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis), which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

Story credit: Wikipedia

CT scan of mesothelioma tumor

Large mesothelioma around the right lung (left side of image) on CT scan

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The 5 symptoms of mesothelioma

1. Shortness of breath

2. Chest wall pain

3. Weight loss

4. Persistent cough

5. Pain or swelling in the abdomen

Please keep in mind that these symptoms could be caused by mesotheloima or by some other, less serious condition. Only a Doctor can mke an exact diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options from

Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer today. It remains the most misunderstood in recent times and continues to cause extensive harm. However, our site,, is an excellent place to learn about the many treatment options for Mesothelioma.

This form of lung cancer is diagnosed in approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Americans every year. In most cases, Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop after initial exposure. At Mesothelioma Treatment, we want to show that early detection when dealing with any cancer is crucial to beating this disease. Some patients may be prescribed just a year to live after being diagnosed, but if the patient is diagnosed early, survival can be much higher. If diagnosed, we want to make sure individuals living with Mesothelioma are aware of all their treatment options and how they can still maintain a great quality of life while living with this terminal illness.

Mesothelioma and shipbuilding

Asbestos in Shipyards

There are many factors that can lead to asbestos exposure and the eventual contraction of mesothelioma. For example, many professions hold increased risk for asbestos exposure. Mechanics, contractors, and electricians are among the major professions that have been affected by asbestos exposure. Perhaps one of the most dangerous jobs is that of the shipbuilder.

For many years, asbestos was used extensively to insulate steam pipes, boilers, incinerators, and other items. However, the carcinogenic properties of asbestos were not well known until the 1970s. For years, shipbuilders worked in poorly ventilated areas. Unaware of the dangers of asbestos, they used little or no protection from the harmful particles in the air.

Years later, effects of the asbestos on the shipbuilding industry are surfacing. Medical studies show that 86% of workers with 20 or more years of shipbuilding experience suffer from an asbestos-related disease. Although the US government now regulates asbestos in the shipbuilding industry, the effects are still being felt.

Story credit: Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center

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The treatment program for mesothelioma depends on many factors, including: the stage of the cancer, where the cancer is, how far the cancer has spread, how the cancer cells look under the microscope and the patientís age and desires.


People diagnosed with this disease are often told the expected survival rate is only eight to twelve months. However, specialists in treating malignant mesothelioma at the leading cancer centers often have better statistics.

For instance, the five-year survival rate has approached 40% for selected patients of Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and Womenís Center in Boston. To qualify for Dr. Sugarbakerís treatment you must meet certain criteria. One of them is being in the early stages of the disease, so time is of the essence. To find out more about Dr. Sugarbaker and other physicians and cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma click on Finding Specialists.

Keeping track of your medical treatment is useful and a personal medical records file can help.


There are three traditional kinds of treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma:

Surgery (taking out the cancer)
Chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the cancer)
Radiation Therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells)

Often two or more of these are combined in the course of treatment.


In January 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the MESOMARK assay to help monitor response to treatment in epithelial and bi-phasic malignant mesothelioma patients. A specific protein, or biomarker, called Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptide (SMRP), may be released into the blood by mesothelioma cancer cells. By measuring the amount of SMRP in a blood sample, doctors may be able to better monitor a patient's progress. Based on the limited amount of data currently available, use of this test may be beneficial, but effectiveness has not been determined at this time. The MESOMARK blood test has NOT yet been approved for the early diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Story credit: Mesothelioma Hope/Support/Help

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