Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs, but can also affect the lining of other organs such as the heart, abdomen, and testicles. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in construction and manufacturing industries until the 1970s.
One of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma is shortness of breath. This can occur because tumors in the lungs or chest cavity can put pressure on the lungs, making it difficult to breathe properly. The shortness of breath may start off as minor and occasional, but as the cancer progresses, it can become more frequent and severe.
Shortness of breath can also be caused by other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, so it is important to see a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is often diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, when treatment options are limited. However, there are still treatment options available, including:
Surgery may be an option if the cancer is caught early and has not spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be used to shrink tumors and slow the spread of the cancer. Immunotherapy is a newer treatment that works by stimulating the body's immune system to fight the cancer cells.
Many people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos while working in jobs that involved construction, manufacturing, or other industries that used asbestos. In many cases, these workers were not properly protected from exposure to asbestos, and were unaware of the dangers of the mineral.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation from the companies responsible for your exposure to asbestos. You may also be eligible for compensation if you are the spouse or family member of someone who has died from mesothelioma.
The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry that may involve asbestos, make sure you are properly trained in how to handle it safely. If you are renovating an older home or building, make sure you have it inspected for asbestos before beginning work.
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, talk to your doctor about getting a CT scan or other screening test to check for mesothelioma.
If you are experiencing shortness of breath or other symptoms that may be related to mesothelioma, it is important to see a doctor right away. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are still treatment options available that can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
By taking steps to prevent exposure to asbestos, we can work towards a future where mesothelioma is no longer a threat to our health and well-being.