Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer, usually associated with previous exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant (cancerous) 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 chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibre in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, or by home renovation using asbestos cement products.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face. These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.

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Blogger drfcshk said...

During the cancer diagnosis doctors look for the site of origin of the tumor and the type of cells. Cancers arise in any organ. The body site, where cancer develops first, is the primary site. The tumor spreads (metastasizes) then. Common cancers include skin, lungs, breasts, prostate, colon and uterine tumors. There are many signs and symptoms of cancer. Doctors may find tumors directly, by X-ray or MRI imaging, or through lab tests.

However, these signs and symptoms of cancer may mimic other diseases. Weight loss and abdominal pain may mean stomach cancer or an ulcer. Weight loss and swollen lymph nodes may mean lymphoma or AIDS or tuberculosis. Blood in urine is a sign of bladder or kidney cancer or a kidney infection. Blood in stool is a sign of many bowel problems, not just cancer. Benign looking skin mole may be deadly melanoma. Doctors often need a biopsy (microscopic check of tissues samples) to diagnose cancer. The cancer type is found by microscopic examination. If the type is different from surrounding tissue, the cancer came from another primary site. Metastases can spread directly or through blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. Biopsy helps to find the primary site. Treatment also depends on the cancer cell type. Cells could be more or less differentiated and originate from different layers of the same organ. If the cancer cells resemble healthy, mature cells, they are differentiated. Undifferentiated cells look like very immature primitive cells. Checking the differentiation allows doctors to know how aggressive the cancer is. Grade one cancer is less aggressive than grade four usually.

Also doctors classify cancers by stage. Stage depends on the size and spreading of the tumor. Stage determines the mode of treatment - Whether it is surgical, radiation, chemotherapy and so on. RDoctor.com.

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