A form of cancer that affects the mesothelium,
is commonly linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos.
This is a very serious form of cancer and dramatically
reduces life expectancy in sufferers. One of the reasons
behind the high fatality rate amongst mesothelioma sufferers
is the latency period of the disease, as two or more
decades can pass between the time of exposure and the
onset of symptoms.
One of the several forms of this cancer
is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining around
the lungs and the wall of the chest. This is the most
common of the different variations and the average life
expectancy upon diagnosis of this form of the disease
is just one year.
What are the symptoms of this form
The number of cases of this type of cancer
is expected to peak over the coming years, as more and
more people who worked with asbestos when it was widely
used begin to see the onset of symptoms. Those who are
diagnosed with mesothelioma may be able to make mesothelioma
compensation claims and these are also likely to spike
over the coming years, in line with the increase in
If you have ever worked with or been exposed
to asbestos, it is advisable to be aware of the symptoms
of pleural mesothelioma. Common symptoms of this disease
Shortness of breath
Facial swelling and swelling of the neck
Difficulties in swallowing
Coughing up blood
Loss of weight
Hoarseness of the voice
Increased fatigue and loss of energy
Loss of appetite
One important thing to note is that the
symptoms of this form of the cancer can be very similar
to symptoms of more common, less dangerous health issues,
which can make diagnosing the disease very difficult.
The non-specific nature of the symptoms means that doctors
may inadvertently attribute them to another health problem,
which could lead to you receiving the wrong treatment.
It also means that even more time passes before you
can get the treatment you need for the disease.
With this in mind, it is important to
let your doctor know that you have worked with asbestos
or have been exposed to this toxic substance in the
past. Your doctor will then have a far better chance
of making a speedy, accurate diagnosis, which means
that appropriate treatment can be arranged.
Unfortunately, by the time the symptoms
of pleural mesothelioma present themselves, the cancer
is already in its later stages. This is why the life
expectancy of those who are diagnosed with the cancer
is often so short, as by the time it is diagnosed it
is already at a very advanced stage.