The importance of early diagnosis for mesothelioma 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 or other asbestos-caused diseases.Early diagnosis is especially important because by the time symptoms of mesothelioma 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 prognosis.
Early Symptoms of Mesothelioma
If you have had a history of asbestos exposure, you should be on the lookout for these early signs of mesothelioma:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Bowel obstructions
- Lowered red blood cell count
- Irregular heartbeat
What to Do if You’re Experiencing Symptoms
Don’t immediately panic. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms and you have a history of asbestos exposure, it doesn’t mean that you definitely have mesothelioma. Early symptoms are occasionally confused with pneumonia or other illnesses. However, it’s best to seek medical testing for an early diagnosis, no matter what the problem is, especially if you’re experiencing chest pain. Inform your doctor that because of early exposure to asbestos, you may be at risk for mesothelioma. Early symptoms may vary from person to person, so it’s important to have an open and candid conversation with your doctor about your level of risk.
Recognize the Early Signs of Mesothelioma to Increase Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma patients often experience a short life expectancy. 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, mesothelioma treatment can be initiated that much sooner, and it may be easier to hold off the advance of the cancer. This is why being knowledgeable of the early symptoms of mesothelioma is so important.
Advanced Versus Localized Mesothelioma
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 can enable more effective and more tolerable treatment.
What to Do Next
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at risk for developing mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, it’s important to learn more about the disease. Contact a Mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about your legal options as well. An experienced attorney can provide more in-depth information today. Contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers for more help.