The Importance of Early Diagnosis for Mesothelioma Cancer Patients
The importance of early diagnosis for mesothelioma cancer patients cannot be overemphasized. If you have a history of asbestos exposure—whether from a workplace, your home, or at a public building such as a school—it's in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable physician even if you have no symptoms of mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-caused disease. Early diagnosis is especially important because by the time symptoms of mesothelioma cancer appear, usually 20 – 50 years after the initial exposure, the disease is already in an advanced phase. An early diagnosis is necessary for the best mesothelioma prognosis.
Early Diagnosis Increases Life Expectancy
The importance of early diagnosis for mesothelioma cancer patients is also reinforced by the short life-expectancy of individuals with this disease. If the mesothelioma is at an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis, the average life expectancy is roughly one to two years. If an individual's mesothelioma is "caught" at an early stage, mesotheliom treatment can be initiated that much sooner, and it may be easier to hold off the advance of the cancer.
Early Diagnosis for Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma cancer may be described as "localized" or "advanced.” The mesothelioma is localized when the cancer cells are found only at the body site where the cancer originated. If the cancer cells have spread beyond that original location, the mesothelioma is considered advanced.
Treating a limited area of cancer is easier than trying to treat cancer that has spread (metastasized) to several sites or throughout the body, and thus an early diagnosis for a mesothelioma cancer patient can enable more effective and more tolerable treatment.
Early Diagnosis for Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of mesothelioma cancer may include the following:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- A chronic cough
- Weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Bowel obstructions
- Lowered red blood cell count
- Irregular heartbeat
If you're experiencing some of these symptoms (especially chest pain) and you have a history of asbestos exposure, it doesn't mean that you definitely have mesothelioma cancer. However, it's best to seek medical testing for an early diagnosis, no matter what the problem is.
Importance of Early Diagnosis for Mesothelioma Cancer Patients
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at risk for developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused disease, you can contact mesothelioma treatment centers for more information .