Lung cancer ranks 2nd and 3rd among the most common cancers worldwide, and first in terms of mortality. Lung cancer is often diagnosed late, which greatly decreases the chances of a cure. The risk factors of lung cancer are mainly due to smoking and environmental exposures to substances such as radon gas and secondhand smoke. Mesothelioma disease is one of the rare cancers that affect the lining of the lungs. 80% of mesothelioma cases are due to the exposure to asbestos according to asbestos.com, and the disease can take up to 30 years to develop after initial exposure.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that usually results from exposure to asbestos. It affects the mesothelial cells, which are found in the lining that covers the outside of the body’s organs.
Mesothelioma usually affects the pleura or lining of the lungs, but it can also appear in the lining of the heart and abdomen.
It is relatively rare. Every year there are about 3,000 new diagnoses in the United States.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, which means that it develops and spreads rapidly.
There are three types:
Pleural mesothelioma: This is the most common form. It affects the pleura, the lining around the lungs.
Peritoneal mesothelioma: This is the second most common form. It attacks the lining of the abdomen, which is called the peritoneum.
Pericardial mesothelioma: This is the rarest form. It affects the protective layer of the heart, called the pericardium.
Is Mesothelioma Lung Cancer?
Mesothelioma and lung cancer are both cancerous, but they have separate ways of developing. Lung cancer develops within the lungs themselves having clear borderlines, while mesothelioma tumor develops in the pleural lining of the lungs and develops into an interconnected network of tumors that lack clear boundaries.
Treatment for Mesothelioma Lung Cancer:
Diagnostic tests for mesothelioma and lung cancer are similar, as well as treatment measures. In general, the treatment for mesothelioma and lung cancer include Surgery, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, Targeted treatment, Palliative surgeries.
Here are The 9 Early Symptoms of Mesothelioma And Lung Cancer:
One of the early lung cancer and Mesothelioma symptoms is experiencing a persistent cough, which tends to worsen with time. Well, if you have a cold, the cough should go away in a week or 2, but if you have a persistent cough that lingers for a long time, you need to see a doctor.
At times the cough might interfere with your sleep and might be similar to coughs which result from bronchitis or allergies.
If you’re a smoker or you suffer from chronic coughs, try and determine if there have been any changes in the chronic cough. For instance, if are coughing much more frequently, you are experiencing deeper coughs with a hoarse sound, or you are having a lot more mucus than usual, it is time to see your doctor.
It’s easy for some individuals to dismiss a cough thinking that it’ll soon pass, but any type of cough which lingers for a couple of weeks should be immediately evaluated by a doctor.
2. Shortness of Breath
Having difficulties catching your breath is another lung cancer and mesothelioma symptom. About 9/10 people who have advanced lung cancer tend to experience this symptom.
This lung cancer symptom may occur if a lung tumor narrows or blocks an airway, or if the fluid from it, happens to build up in your chest. It can also be as a result of clogged arteries, chronic bronchitis, anemia, a respiratory infection, heavy workouts, and even lack of oxygen while in high altitude areas.
That being so, if you suddenly start experiencing shortness of breath while you are doing a simple task that you used to do with much ease in the past, don’t take it lightly, consult your doctor.
Keep in mind that the shortness of breath may have numerous causes, but if you are at an increased risk for developing lung cancer or mesothelioma, you need to have to be checked out soonest possible.
It is common for lung cancer disease to cause chest pain which tends to worsen with deep breathing, laughing, or coughing. The areas which surround the lungs may get inflamed due to lung cancer or mesothelioma, and it may feel like the lungs are in pain.
It is also possible for lung cancer tumors to exert great pressure on the surrounding tissues which can result in chest pain.
The chest pain which worsens with coughing, deep breathing, or laughing is usually an early sign of lung cancer and mesothelioma, and it happens when the disease has spread to the lung’s lining. In the more advanced stages, it may spread to your bones and you might experience pain in your back, neck, arms, shoulder, or various other parts of your body.
This kind of pain usually worsens at night when you are sleeping on your back. You should tell your doctor in case you happen to notice any sort of chest pain, whether it’s dull, sharp, or constant.
Although hoarseness can be as a result of a cold, this symptom can point to something much more serious if it persists for over 2 weeks.
Hoarseness that is related to lung cancer may occur when a tumor affects the nerves which control the larynx, or the voice box.
This in turn makes the vocal cords inflamed and irritated, leading to significant changes in your voice.
If you notice a significant change in voice, or if somebody else tells you that your voice sounds raspier, deeper, or hoarse, you should get checked by your doctor.
5.Persistent Chest Infections
Because of compromised immunity and lack of energy, chances of falling ill are much higher for those with lung cancer. Moreover, infections of the respiratory system such as bronchitis normally tend to recur.
Whenever any sort of infection occurs within a short time after its’ 1st episode, it usually means that the immune system is trying to fight with malignancy such as lung cancer.
In case you suffer from any kind of chronic lung infection, it’s time for you to get a lung x-ray.
6.Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss of about 10 pounds and more may be associated with lung cancer disease or some other type of cancer. This drop-in weight may be because the cancer cells consume your energy.
It can also result from a shift in the way your body utilizes energy from food.
Never write off a drastic change in your weight. You should consult your doctor, in case you happen to notice drastic weight loss, especially if you have not been trying to lose weight.
7.Coughing up Blood
If you’re coughing up blood, whether in small amounts or large amounts, you should go see your doctor soonest possible so you can find out the actual cause.
Coughing up blood can indicate lung cancer, especially if you’re a smoker. In many instances, coughing up blood is accompanied by various other lung cancer symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough, or chest pains.
Difficulty swallowing (also known as dysphagia), is common when you have a sore throat. However, if you’re experiencing pain when swallowing liquid or solid foods, which persists for a couple of weeks, and even gets worse, it may be an early symptom of lung cancer.
It can also be a sign of stomach or throat cancer. In case you have lung cancer, there might be some additional symptoms like coughing or choking while eating. If you notice this symptom, you should seek medical attention immediately.
9.Fatigue and Pain in Your Fingers
If you are feeling tired/fatigued all the time, and your fingers are in pain, it may be an early symptom of lung cancer. If the skin that’s on your palms starts getting thick, and you happen to notice an appearance of pale or white folds, you may be experiencing a condition that is known as “tripe palm.”
This condition places you within the high-risk group for lung cancer. Your fingertips may appear raised or wider under the nails or may feel warm, swollen, or reddened. You might also notice difficulty picking up things and clumsiness. In case you happen to notice this symptom, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Who’s in danger?
The chance of developing mesothelioma depends on the degree of exposure to asbestos. Factors that play a role include the duration of exposure, how much the person has inhaled, and the type of asbestos fiber.
People in jobs with high exposure, such as people working on construction sites, in steel factories or power stations, have the greatest risk of developing the disease.
Even family members who have never been in an asbestos-rich environment can be at risk. If a worker accidentally carries fibers in his clothing home, other members of the household can breathe in these particles.
People have known for more than 60 years that there is a link between asbestos and cancer and other pulmonary diseases. Nevertheless, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that nearly 125 million people worldwide were exposed to asbestos at work in 2005.
Regulations in industrialized countries have reduced the risk of exposure to asbestos. However, its use remains largely unregulated in many countries. As a result, a large number of people are still at risk.
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