Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer, which affects the cells of the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is usually always caused by exposure to asbestos, and this cancer can even develop years later after exposure to asbestos fibers. The symptoms of mesothelioma normally occur anywhere from between 15 and 50 years after your first exposure to asbestos fibers. As a result of this, mesothelioma symptom rarely shows up during the stages of the disease, and it is not until decades that most people tend to develop any symptoms. Usually at the time of diagnosis the cancer is present.
The symptoms of mesothelioma will vary according to every individual case. However, the symptoms often resemble those of less serious illnesses and is the main reason for the low rate of early detection of mesothelioma. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing due to the accumulation of fluid in the chest and lungs,; weight loss and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include coughing, pain in the chest, retention of fluid in the abdomen, loss of appetite, a husky voice, the inability to sleep, difficulty swallowing, anemia, and fever.
Causes of Mesothelioma
The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to the naturally-occurring fibrous substance asbestos. This occurs when the asbestos fibers are inhaled or absorbed into the body and then become lodged in human tissue. Once the asbestos fibers are in the tissue it will cause inflammation or infection of the tissue. Mesothelioma is more likely to occur in shipyard workers, asbestos miners, engineers, factory workers and construction workers. The disease can also occur in relatives of these workers who get in contact with the asbestos fibers.