Each type of mesothelioma is associated with specific symptoms, though some of these overlap. However, these symptoms also occur with many other types of illness, which makes diagnosing mesothelioma a difficult proposition and can delay an individual from seeking treatment. Certain facts about mesothelioma are important for you to consider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
If you have any history of asbestos exposure and are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, it is very important that you consult a doctor immediately for an evaluation
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. While there is a relationship between the level of exposure and the risk of contracting the disease, even minimal levels of exposure have been linked to mesothelioma in some cases.
The latency (waiting) period of the disease is long; people who were exposed to asbestos may not develop mesothelioma for at least 20 years, and sometimes as many as 50 years, after that exposure has occurred.
Most mesothelioma patients are diagnosed 2-3 months after symptoms appear, but as many as 25 percent have symptoms for six months or more before seeking medical attention and/or being properly diagnosed. The sooner a patient seeks diagnosis and treatment, the better the prognosis.
Direct contact with asbestos increases the risk of contracting mesothelioma. However, people who live near an asbestos mine or manufacturing plant or whose spouses worked with asbestos may also be at risk.
If you have any history of asbestos exposure and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is very important that you consult a doctor immediately for an evaluation. If you do not already know a doctor with experience treating mesothelioma, the Mesothelioma Options Help Center can assist you in finding a treatment center in your area.