Mesothelioma is incredibly dangerous and has killed thousands of individuals. After decades of asbestos use, we are still seeing new and severe cases every day. Mesothelioma is a fast-spreading cancer with a high death rate. Many will not recover. Those who do often cite early detection as a reason they survive.
It is notoriously hard for doctors to detect mesothelioma early. Many patients only come in when they begin having symptoms, and, by then, the disease has progressed. But vigilance and new scientific findings make early detection more and more possible.
Are you at risk?
Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma. Its widespread use in construction and manufacturing has put millions at-risk and continues to jeopardize the well-being of many who use, live in or renovate older buildings. If you know that you are or have been exposed to asbestos, professionals advise regular screening.
New studies are linking certain chemicals in the blood to asbestos exposure and cancer. Other biomarkers are also promising. But research is still relatively young.
What we do know is that chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and weight loss are all closely associated with this cancer. If you begin to notice these symptoms, go to a doctor right away. These symptoms generally appear at later stages of the cancer (stages 3 and 4), and time is of the essence.
Getting a support system in place
Cancer treatment is notoriously expensive, but there are resources. You may also be eligible for support from a number of different cases and insurance funds. As you begin to get treatment, also get legal advice about financial support for you and your loved ones.