Symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer

Symptoms Of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma develops gradually and usually takes 20-60 years for symptoms to appear. Therefore, patients may not feel any symptoms when mesothelioma is still in its early stages. However, cancer cells will grow over time and press on nerves or other organs so that symptoms arise.

The symptoms of mesothelioma depend on the affected organ. In pulmonary mesothelioma, symptoms that may appear include:

  • Fever and sweating, especially at night
  • The body feels very tired
  • Cough accompanied by unbearable pain
  • Shortness of breath due to fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficult swallowing
  • Pain in the shoulder or upper arm
  • Swelling or changes in The Shape of the fingertips (gamelan fingers)
  • Appear lumps in the tissue under the surface of the skin of the chest

While abdominal mesothelioma (peritoneal) can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fever or night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lump or swelling in the abdominal area
  • Disorders of defecation and urination

Mesothelioma of the pericardium and testis is a very rare type of mesothelioma. Pericardial Mesothelioma usually causes symptoms in the form of chest pain and breathing disorders, while testicular mesothelioma is characterized by swelling or lumps in the testicular area.

Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma

In order to determine the diagnosis of mesothelioma, the doctor will conduct questions and answers related to the patient's symptoms and medical history, especially the possibility of exposure to asbestos. A physical exam will also be performed to detect lumps or other symptoms.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will perform scans, such as:

  • X-rays, to detect thickening in the lining of the lungs, fluid in the pleural cavity, or changes in The Shape of the lungs
  • CT scan, to examine the chest and abdominal area, as well as detect the presence of cancer and check if cancer has spread to other organs
  • PET scan, to get a detailed picture of the tissue suspected of cancer
  • MRI, to get a more detailed picture of the organ and determine the location of the tumor.

Based on the results of these tests, the patient is advised to conduct a follow-up examination in the form of:

Blood tests

A blood test is performed to detect elevated levels of fibulin-3, osteopontin, and peptides in the blood. The levels of these three substances are usually higher in patients with mesothelioma.

Examination of liquid samples

If the patient experiences a buildup of fluid in the body due to mesothelioma, the doctor will take a sample of the fluid and examine it in the laboratory to detect the presence of cancer cells.

There are several types of examination of liquid samples, namely:

  • Thoracentesis, which is the sampling of fluid in the chest cavity
  • Paracentesis is the taking of fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Pericardiocentesis, which is fluid intake in the lining (membrane) around the heart
  • Biopsy

The biopsy is done by taking tissue samples from certain parts of the body and then analyzed in the laboratory. There are several types of biopsy examinations, namely:

1. Needle biopsy

Needle biopsy is performed by inserting a long needle into the chest or abdominal cavity.

2. Thoracoscopy, laparoscopy and mediastinoscopy

This biopsy is performed by inserting a camera-elastic tube and special surgical instruments through one or more small incisions. The type of biopsy performed depends on the area of the body being examined, namely:

  • Thoracoscopy, to examine the inside of the chest
  • Laparoscopy, to examine the inside of the abdominal organs
  • Mediastinoscopy, to examine the area around the heart

3. Biopsy through surgery

In some cases, the doctor will perform an invasive procedure to take a larger tissue sample to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor can also remove the entire tumor if possible.

There are two types of biopsy procedures through surgery, namely:

  1. Thoracotomy, which is performed through open surgery on the chest
  2. Laparotomy, which is performed through open surgery on the abdomen

4. Biopsy bronchoscopy

This biopsy is done by inserting a thin tube through the throat to detect tumors in the respiratory tract. If present, the doctor will take a tissue sample from the tumor for research.

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