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Mesothilioma Symptoms - The "Sudden" Killer

Jun 18, 2008
The sudden onset of a deadly cancer is possibly the last thing on your mind when you feel "not so normal". However victims of asbestos cancer (mesothelioma) barely survive 12 months, after being diagnosed with this cancer.

The two most common forms of mesothelioma have different symptoms, relating to different parts of the body. Pleural mesothilioma (present in the lining surrounding the lungs) and peritoneal mesothilioma (present in the lining surrounding the abdominal cavity and the abdominal organs) may display signs of other unrelated illnesses, however the immediate affects can be quite deadly.

For instance, peritoneal mesothilioma, the rarer of the two, can lead to swelling, abdominal pain due to fluid buildup in the abdomen cavity, weight loss, bowel obstruction, abnormalities in blood clotting and fever.

Symptoms of the more common pleural mesothelioma include chest pain and difficulty breathing. Occasionally other symptoms may be present, including weight loss, fever, cough and night sweats. Also occasionally a patient may be diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma before any symptoms manifest.

All these symptoms may mask the real disease if misdiagnosed. The only way to diagnose mesothelioma is to take a series of tests to discover if the disease is present.

The most important link is to determine if the patient has been in contact with asbestos within the last 15 to 50 years. If so, imaging scans to help diagnose for mesothilioma should be undertaken.

Chest X-Rays For Mesothelioma

Commonly these include taking a chest x-ray which will show a picture of the lungs to determine if there are any abnormal changes.

CT Scan For Mesothelioma

A CT scan, computer tomography, is a type of x-ray that uses a computer rather than film to display its images. It can be used to show three-dimensional representations of the relevant parts of the body.

MRI Scan For Mesothelioma

The final type of imaging that may be used is an MRI scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. In an MRI, magnetism is used in conjunction with the computer to create clear images of your body.

What Your Doctor Might Do

If your doctor finds an unusual mass during the imaging process, they are most likely to take a tissue sample (biopsy), or draw fluid from it to determine what type of tissue is.

Typically a needle is used to draw a small amount of fluid from the tissue. If the results aren't able to rule out the condition completely, the next step would normally be to insert a small tube which is attached to a camera and to take a small piece of the tissue remotely.

In some cases a more extensive surgical procedure may be needed in order to get a good sample of the tissue.
About the Author
For a wide variety of further information about Mesothelioma visit: Malignant Mesothilioma Information

Article copyright Bradley Smith Malignant Mesothilioma Info
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