One of the important things about having a website is the dissemination of information. I recently learned about the asbestos-related cancer known as mesothelioma. I hope this article helps anyone who needs to know about mesothelioma. All of us cancer survivors need to help each other no matter what kind we have!
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that involves the mesothelial tissue, which is found in the lining of the stomach, lungs, heart and other vital organs. Unfortunately, this is an aggressive type of cancer that is sometimes fatal in patients who do not respond positively to treatment options. It is almost always associated with unhealthy exposure to asbestos. Asbestos fibers are found in common construction products, such as insulation, flooring and shingles. Asbestos fibers make their way into the lungs when products containing those fibers are moved around or disturbed. Mesothelioma may not develop until several decades after someone has been exposed to asbestos fibers by way of swallowing or inhaling them.
Some of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma affecting the lungs include chest pain, shortness of breath, extended coughing, pain when coughing, unexpected weight loss or bumps and lumps in your chest. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately to undergo testing. The other most common form of this type of cancer occurs in the abdomen. Symptoms of that form of mesothelioma include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling and unexpected weight loss.
The common ways that a doctor may test for mesothelioma include chest x-rays, biopsy or CT scan. These may be performed in conjunction with a physical exam and a review of your medical history to arrive at a diagnosis. Tests can also help determine whether the cancer has spread to other areas of your body and what stage of development the disease is currently in. The benefit of an early diagnosis is that you may catch the disease before it spreads throughout your body. An early diagnosis may also require less invasive treatment options.
Common Treatment Methods for Mesothelioma
If you receive a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis, there are four common treatment options. Depending on your diagnosis, a combination of therapies may be required.
Surgery is performed to remove the cancerous tumor directly. If the cancer is located in the lining of your lungs, a surgeon may remove parts of the lining, including some of the healthy areas.
Another treatment option is radiation, which uses x-rays to kill off malignant cells and prevent new cancerous cells from growing or spreading. Even after the surgical removal of some cells, radiation may still be recommended.
Chemotherapy stops cancerous cells from continuing to divide and grow. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the veins.
Targeted therapies are considered less invasive or risky than other options. They include drugs to stop the spread of cancerous cells.
Recommended Wellness Methods to Improve Your Recovery from Mesothelioma
If you are in recovery from mesothelioma, there are some steps that you can take to mitigate the symptoms of the therapies and improve your odds of a full recovery.
It may take some time before you feel up to resuming an exercise routine, but it is one of the most important things you can do to improve your recovery. Exercise may reduce stress and anxiety and improves overall self-esteem. In addition, you should maintain a balanced diet. This means eating at least two cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Avoid drinking any alcohol while you are in recovery. Do not take up smoking or using tobacco in any form. Keep stress and anxiety to a minimum as much as possible. Along those same lines, try to keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven consecutive hours of sleep a night.
Consult your doctor about any dietary or exercise changes that you make during your recovery.
Article by: Sheryl Mason