Mesothelioma and Nausea
Mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of cancer on the planet. In fact, only 1% of all cancer diagnoses are for mesothelioma. However, it is believed that number of diagnoses will rise over the next few decades. This is because the latency period between asbestos exposure and the development of an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma, is incredibly long, sometimes as much as 50 or even 60 years. People who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of having ingested or inhaled asbestos fibers, which can lead to this form of cancer. It is also possible that they contaminated their environment with the fibers, carrying them on their clothes, skin, and hair, which may cause people who have not been directly exposed to asbestos to develop the condition too.
Types of Mesothelioma
Four types of mesothelioma exist. These are:
1. Pleural mesothelioma, which is the most common type. In this case, asbestos fibers have been inhaled, causing damage and genetic mutations in the lungs. Over time, the cancer will go into metastasis, which means it starts to affect other organs. Initially, it is only found in the lining of the lungs.
2. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which is the second most common form. This affects the lining of the stomach. It is believed that it is caused by ingesting fibers, which then become lodged in the abdominal cavity, causing damage and genetic mutation.
3. Pericardial mesothelioma, which is a much rarer form of the cancer, that affects the lining of the heart. While poorly understood, it is believed that this happens when a person inhales fibers, and that these break free from the lining of the lungs and somehow reach the heart.
4. Testicular mesothelioma, which is the rarest form of mesothelioma. It is not yet understood how this cancer starts, although some scientists are now suggesting that there may be a link between this form of cancer and using talc powder on babies.
Nausea as Symptom of Mesothelioma
There are a number of reasons why mesothelioma can cause nausea. It is a very common symptom in people who have peritoneal mesothelioma. This is because it affects the lining of the stomach and the other organs that form the digestive tract. As such, these patients may experience increased levels of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not symptoms of the other forms of cancer. However, they can be experienced as a symptom of treatment, or other forms of secondary symptoms.
If you were to start experiencing consistent, regular bouts of nausea, it is very important that you seek medical advice, whether or not you suspect you have mesothelioma. Nausea is a symptom of a huge list of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach infections and food poisoning. It can also lead to dehydration, particularly if you vomit as a result of the nausea, which is dangerous in itself. In most cases, peritoneal mesothelioma will not be considered as a reason for the nausea unless you also experience symptoms of mesothelioma, or if you know that you have had significant exposure to asbestos. In this case, a medical examination will be required, which will determine whether or not mesothelioma is present.
Nausea can be acute or chronic in all forms of mesothelioma. If it is acute, the onset is often very quick. Generally speaking, the nausea will only be present for a short period of time and disappear again. However, if it is chronic, people feel nauseous, either with or without vomiting, all the time. In people with chronic nausea, it is not uncommon for them to experience significant difficulties in eating, either because they have lost their appetite, or because they cannot keep anything down. If it is known that the patient has mesothelioma, it is important that this symptom is properly managed. Nutrition and hydration are vital to the overall health and well-being of someone with mesothelioma. The prognosis for this form of cancer is very poor, and if the patient also begins to suffer from dehydration and malnutrition, the prognosis will be even poorer, as well as having a serious negative effect on overall quality of life.
Once people have a mesothelioma diagnosis, they are likely to experience a range of different symptoms at the same time, as well as new symptoms every once in a while. Additionally, most of the symptoms are related in some way. For instance, people with chronic diarrhea will also experience weight loss. Those who have dysphagia may experience increased levels of nausea. Nausea should not be ignored as it can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. Hence, it is very important that it is treated, and ensuring that this treatment doesn’t make the other side effects worse that may, in turn, cause the nausea to become even more worse.
Other Causes of Nausea in Mesothelioma
As stated, it is most common for nausea to be present in cases of peritoneal mesothelioma. This is believed to be due to the pressure that is placed on the abdomen and stomach by the cancerous cells and tumors. However, there are other reasons as to why patients may experience nausea, including:
• When they experience severe pain with malignant mesothelioma, common around the heart, chest, and abdomen. This pain may actually lead to nausea.
• If people are given radiotherapy or chemotherapy as treatment for the cancer, this can lead to significant bouts of nausea.
• Patients in advanced stages of mesothelioma may be prescribed morphine painkillers. These can also lead to serious nauseous feelings.
If patients start to develop nausea, it is important that this is mentioned to their health professional. This is because it may mean that the cancer is starting to progress, which can happen in all forms of mesothelioma. When the cells go into metastasis, they will affect other organs and this can lead to feelings of nausea.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma remains poorly understood. It is a rare form of cancer, although it is believed that a peak will soon start to happen and this is leading to a lot of research being completed into this kind of cancer. That being said, treatment remains limited and not very successful. The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma of all types is very poor, although it is starting to improve. As such, research is certainly making great strides into increasing the quality of life and longevity of those who have been diagnosed with it. Research also continues to take place in the causes and treatment of nausea, so those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma should always mention their symptoms to their physicians in order to find treatment for it.