Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall, and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in many industries, including construction, insulation, and shipbuilding. The long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause pleural mesothelioma to develop.
Due to the rarity of this cancer, the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can be difficult to identify. However, some common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, and coughing up blood. Other less common symptoms may include fever, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing.
In order to diagnose pleural mesothelioma, a doctor will typically perform a physical exam, order chest x-rays, and take samples of tissue from the lungs or chest wall. If the results of these tests are inconclusive, further imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI may be ordered. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is made, a doctor can then recommend the best treatment option. Treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery. The type of treatment chosen will depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health.
Navigating the symptoms and diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma can be a challenge for both patients and doctors. However, with the help of a knowledgeable doctor and the latest diagnostic tools, this cancer can be diagnosed and treated effectively. It is important for patients to receive prompt medical attention if they experience any of the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma as this cancer can often be difficult to treat if not caught early.