Malignant pleural mesothelioma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer known to man. Mainly caused by exposure to asbestos, the problem with this type of cancer is it’s near undetectable until it begins to kill you.
For most people, it can take around 40 years for it to surface. Health officials worry that due to this we’re looking at a mesothelioma timebomb in the coming years.
Workers in shipyards, old-style school rooms, gas fitters, and construction workers are just some of the professions most likely to involve asbestos exposure.
So what is it?
It develops in the tissue that covers the chest wall and the lungs, hence why it’s so deadly and why life expectancies are so low.
What are the Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma?
Signs and symptoms can come on suddenly and forcefully. The most common symptoms you’re likely to experience are shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and chest pain.
As you can imagine, a lot of people assume this is caused by the flu or some other illnesses. It’s not instantly clear that this is cancer, which is why older people should always seek out medical help if they experience any of these symptoms.
Early diagnosis could mean the difference between becoming a pleural mesothelioma survivor and death. Read more on the disease on this site.
How are You Diagnosed?
Pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed through a combination of chest x-rays and CT scans. Only a CT scan can confirm the presence of pleural mesothelioma, with a 90% success rate of detecting the tumors.
There are other ways of detecting cancers, such as measuring how much of a specific protein is in your blood.
But if you’re suspected of having cancer you’ll be fast-tracked for immediate tests because doctors understand the importance of early diagnosis when it comes to cancer.
This is why you need to be honest with your doctor because the role of asbestos is so critical. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos during your life, you’ll usually be immediately sent for further tests.
How Does Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Work?
Life expectancy for mesothelioma is measured in months, rather than years. That’s why early diagnosis is so crucial.
How advanced the cancer is determines the treatment. For example, surgery to remove the tumor is generally recommended for those who are in the early stages of the disease. There’s also radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and a variety of alternative treatments.
There’s also a range of new treatments that are currently under clinical trial. These include photodynamic therapy and gene therapy. Both have delivered promising results that could pioneer the field of alternative mesothelioma treatment.
Paul Kraus is one such pioneer of alternative mesothelioma treatment, having survived the disease for more than twenty years.
Last Word – Early Diagnosis is the Most Important Thing
It’s incredibly important to get checked out the moment you experience any out of the ordinary symptoms. Late diagnosis of mesothelioma is essentially an immediate death sentence.
Don’t be afraid of wasting the doctor’s time. It’s better to be safe than sorry by getting regular medical checkups.
When did you last visit your doctor for a health check?