If you have held a position in a shipyard, power plant, construction site or steel mill, then you may have unknowingly inhaled or ingested asbestos. This fire resistant material has been used by a number of building and manufacturing companies over the years, going into everything from fabric to insulation.
Unfortunately, if you have a history of exposure to asbestos, then you are at risk for developing asbestos cancer. Asbestos cancer, more commonly known as malignant mesothelioma, causes tumors to grow in the lining around your vital organs. Over time, this lining will become abnormal and put your life at risk. Depending on where the tumors are located, your asbestos cancer can take one of three forms.
If asbestos cancer causes tumors to grow in the lining of your lungs, then you have pleural mesothelioma. Over time, the disease will attack the cells and lining of your lungs, which will result in your lung capacity diminishing as fluid builds up.
If you have peritoneal mesothelioma, then tumors have developed in the thin layer of cells that envelop your abdominal cavity. Once enough fluid builds up in this area, you will begin to display symptoms of mesothelioma.
If you have pericardial mesothelioma, then you are dealing with the most serious form of asbestos cancer. This form of the disease will result in tumors forming in the lining of your heart. The close proximity of the tumors to this vital organ makes surgery risky, even when the condition is diagnosed early.
Symptoms of Asbestos Cancer
If you have a history of asbestos exposure and display any symptoms of mesothelioma, it is vital that you notify your physician as soon as possible. Because asbestos cancer shares symptoms with a number of other conditions, it is otherwise difficult for a doctor to quickly identify.
The three different forms of asbestos cancer share many of the same symptoms. These include nausea, abdominal swelling, night sweats, sudden weight loss, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and coughing up blood.
Asbestos Cancer Treatment
Currently, there are a number of treatment options available to mesothelioma patients. If your asbestos cancer has been identified in an early stage and you are in otherwise healthy shape, you may be eligible for potentially curative surgery. During this surgery, a doctor will identify and cut out all of the cancerous tissue in your body, possibly saving your life in the process.
If your disease has progressed past the point where potentially curative surgery is an option, then you may still be eligible for palliative surgery. Palliative surgery is concerned with treating your asbestos cancer symptoms, which will help your pain and improve your quality of life.
Additional asbestos cancer treatments include chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as nontraditional methods such as immunotherapy, gene therapy and hormonal therapy.
If you have been affected by asbestos cancer, please contact us today and we will help you find treatment.