Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the tissue surrounding a person’s internal organs. Most often, the tissue that is affected surrounds the lungs, but the cancer can also occur in the tissue surrounding the stomach, heart and other internal organs.
Over 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Many of these people developed the cancer from asbestos exposure that occurred decades before they started experiencing symptoms.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
There are several symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme fatigue and fever
- Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite
- Lumps on your chest or abdomen
- Abdominal pain or swelling
Because these symptoms mimic the flu or other common illnesses, many people can mistake the signs of mesothelioma for something else. People who are experiencing several of these symptoms should consult with a doctor before it is too late.
Causes of mesothelioma
Doctors believe the primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to the mineral, asbestos. Because of its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has been used to make a variety of products people use every day. When used in production, asbestos can create dust particles. Doctors believe when asbestos dust is breathed into the lungs or swallowed into the abdomen, mesothelioma can develop.
According to Mayo Clinic, people working in manufacturing plants that produce motor vehicle and construction parts are at a high risk of asbestos exposure. Some of the products that often contain asbestos include brakes, insulation, cement, drywall, flooring, roofing, paints, sealants and plastics.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos or is showing symptoms of mesothelioma, seek medical attention immediately. You may also be able to bring a mesothelioma claim to receive compensation for your medical expenses.