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The Long-Term Effects of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma on Patients

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive and malignant form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer is most commonly found in people who have worked in industrial settings where asbestos used to be present in the air. The cancer develops when fibers from the asbestos become lodged in the lining of the lungs or the chest wall, causing the cells to become cancerous. While treatments for mesothelioma can help prolong the life of a patient, the long-term effects of this cancer can be devastating.

The most common long-term effect of malignant pleural mesothelioma is progressive respiratory failure. This occurs when the cancer has spread to the lung tissue, causing it to become inflamed and scarred. This scarring results in a decrease in the patient’s ability to breathe normally. Patients may experience shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty with activities such as walking or talking. Eventually, the patient may need to use oxygen therapy or may require a ventilator to assist in breathing.

Another long-term effect of mesothelioma is fatigue. This can be caused by the cancer itself or by the treatments used to fight the cancer. As the cancer progresses, the patient’s energy levels may become depleted, leading to a general feeling of tiredness and exhaustion. This fatigue can make everyday activities difficult, from attending work or school to participating in hobbies.

Pain is another common long-term effect of mesothelioma. As the cancer spreads, it can cause intense pain in the chest and abdomen. This pain is usually treated with medications, but it can be severe enough to require more aggressive treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

The long-term effects of malignant pleural mesothelioma can also include emotional distress. Patients may struggle with depression and anxiety as they come to terms with their diagnosis and the changes in their life. They may also feel isolated and alone as they attempt to cope with their illness.

Finally, malignant pleural mesothelioma can have an impact on patients’ quality of life. The cancer can cause them to lose the ability to perform activities that they once enjoyed, such as participating in sports or traveling. They may also have difficulty maintaining relationships due to their illness or the treatments they receive.

The long-term effects of malignant pleural mesothelioma can be devastating. Patients should seek out support from family and friends as well as from medical professionals to help them cope with the physical and emotional effects of their illness.

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