Mesothelioma cancer is particularly hard to diagnose. It is a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, (a mineral commonly used in industry or as insulation in homes).
Once asbestos particles are inhaled, they harm the mesothelium of the lungs permanently. The mesothelium is a lining that covers the outer portion of the lungs.
Mesothelioma Cancer Diagnosis
This form of cancer takes many years to develop as the symptoms develop gradually. These are often misdiagnosed as other illnesses ranging from bronchitis to emphysema. Symptoms develop over 15 to 50+ years after exposure to asbestos fibers. Quite often, individuals will die from the complications of mesothelioma and really not even know the real cause of their illness.
It is important for the patient to find a doctor who specializes in asbestos related mesothelioma. Using imaging tests like CT, MRI, Ultrasound, and X-Rays, a good diagnostian can find the underlying cause of an illness and confirm it with a biopsy of the pleural or peritoneal tissue to detect the presence of these types of cancer cells.
Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of this type of cancer depend upon when the patient is diagnosed. Shortness of breath and coughing are typical of early detected pleural mesothelioma. This may also be accompanied by chest pain.
Abdominal or peritoneal mesothelioma is a later stage development of the disease and these symptoms can include unexplained weight changes, anemia, constipation, diarrhea, swelling or pain in the abdomen, lumps or masses in the abdomen, and swelling of the feet or ankles.
Other symptoms for all types of mesothelioma cancer include fevers, sweating, night sweats or unexplained weight loss.