Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma’s latency period is usually about 10 to 30 years with symptoms such as breathing problems and a decrease of lung elasticity. For approximately two thirds of mesothelioma patients, pleural and peritoneal effusion is a main symptomatic problem. For stage II mesothelioma patients, single agent and combined chemotherapy have resulted in increased response rates, although causing higher levels of toxicity. Also, there is minimal evidence of which combination treatments results in longer survival or better control of the symptoms.

The diagnostic procedure of malignant mesothelioma starts with a systematic medical history to record the patient’s symptoms and any possible exposure to asbestos, continued with a thorough physical examination. Diagnosis is continued with additional examinations such as chest or abdominal X-ray, computed tomography scan (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). One important aspect to consider is that signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are quite similar to other cancers and lung diseases.

Patients suffering from mesothelioma have symptoms similar to other lung diseases which the physician may not even think to be correlated to asbestos let alone malignant mesothelioma. Usually, malignant mesothelioma develops within 10 to 30 years and during this period of latency patients suffering from this disease may have minimal to no symptoms. Several of these signs and symptoms develop in an advanced stage of the cancer which maybe accompanied with distant metastasis to other organs of the body. Men have a higher risk to develop this disease and the risk increases with age.

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