Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an asbestos associated malignancy (cancer) which is almost always fatal.Malignant mesothelioma originates from the lining cells of the pleural and peritoneal cavities and also the pericardium and tunica vaginalis. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common variety and accounts for 70% of all mesothelioma cases and peritoneal mesothelioma forms the most of the remaining 30%. Pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma affecting tunica vaginalis are very rare. This is due to the fact that the fibres of asbestos,which are the the main cause of mesothelioma, are inhaled and the lungs are the organs which are first  exposed to asbestos.Mesothelioma comes under the category of occupational diseases, as it usually occurs in people exposed to asbestos at work, though it can occur in people even without any history of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is implicated in more than 80%-90% of the mesothelioma cases. Currently there is no definitive cure available for mesothelioma. The prognosis of peritoneal mesothelioma is worse than peritoneal mesothelioma.
Signs and Symptoms of Pleural mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is the commonest form mesothelioma accounting for 70% of all the cases of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma forms the major portion of the remaining 30% of the cases. So the signs and symptoms associated with these two diseases are enumerated below Pleural mesothelioma Most common symptoms are:

Chest pain
Dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing)

The above symptoms usually co-exist and are the first ones to appear. But the individual in some cases my present with only difficulty in breathing without any chest pain.

Some of the late symptoms are
Hoarseness of the voice
Dysphagia ( difficulty in swallowing)

The presence of late symptoms usually signifies the disease is at a later stage and it's a bad sign. Other less common symptoms are:

Weight loss
Chest wall mass

These symptoms are not exhaustive,but are the most encountered ones. Pleural mesothelioma can cause many other symptoms due to extension of the disease to surrounding structures like the heart,major vessels in the chest.

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