Exposure to asbestos is thought to be a leading factor in developing mesothelioma, a rare but serious form of cancer. This cancer affects the lining around internal organs, most often impacting the lungs, but it can also be found on the lining of the heart and abdomen. While there is no cure, treatment is available, and it is important for people to be aware of the common symptoms and risk factors so they can seek the appropriate help.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma typically depend on what area of the body is affected. When the lungs are impacted, a person often experiences shortness of breath, chest pain, repeated bouts of coughing, lumps under the skin on the chest, and weight loss with no identifiable cause. When mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen, nausea, abdominal pain and swelling, and weight loss are all factors. Symptoms associated with other types of mesothelioma are less understood.
When experiencing any unexplained symptoms, it is best to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Because this is a rarer form of cancer and many of the symptoms are the same as other disorders, only a doctor can give you a definite diagnosis. Additionally, the sooner you receive a diagnosis, the quicker you can receive treatment.
Risk factors involved
Asbestos exposure often occurs during building renovation or demolition. When building materials containing asbestos are torn down, particles fly through the air and are inhaled. People who have been exposed at home or at work have a high risk, as well as those who live with a person who has worked with asbestos, as particles may be transported home on their clothing. Having a history of mesothelioma in your family also increases your risk of developing the disease.