Mesothelioma Symptoms 2
Mesothelioma is a unique disease in that symptoms do not usually manifest themselves until anywhere from 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. For patients and doctors, this is the most frustrating aspect of the disease. The latency period of mesothelioma is lengthy, making the disease undiagnosable until its later stages when symptoms finally begin to appear and little can be done to slow the progress of the disease.
Just like any other disease, the symptoms of mesothelioma vary from case to case and with the severity of the illness. The type of mesothelioma - whether pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial - also determines what the symptoms might be. Often times, the general overall health of the individual, as well as his/her age, may also play a role in how the patient is affected by the disease and which symptoms are most bothersome.
One of the most difficult problems with diagnosing mesothelioma and connecting the symptoms with the disease is the fact that so many of the symptoms - both individually and in tandem - can easily be mistaken for other more common diseases like flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, heart disease, and others.
A doctor well versed in symptoms of mesothelioma treatment will take time to investigate a patient's history and hopefully connect past exposure to asbestos with the symptoms. Patients, however, can do their part as well. Anyone that was ever exposed to asbestos, even if it was decades ago, should inform their doctor of the exposure. That information will not only aid the doctor in diagnosis but will also help eliminate the need for many costly and uncomfortable tests that may be ordered while fishing for a diagnosis.
Tests are being developed that will help diagnose mesothelioma at an earlier stage, even before the most common symptoms appear. It is hoped that these tests will aid in treating the disease before it reaches its most advanced stages.