Spotting cancer at an early stage can drastically improve your chances of living a full and healthy life years after your diagnosis. The issue, however, is that many symptoms of cancer are similar to those of other minor ailments. Hence, they might often go ignored or unnoticed and aren’t caught until the illness has worsened significantly.
With California being the only state with naturally occurring asbestos in 45 out of 58 counties, dry coughs or breathing problems should not be ignored.
By keeping up with regular screening habits and monitoring minor ailments that last several weeks, you can catch the tumor before it gets worse and seek medical help that could save your life.
What is Mesothelioma, and How Does it Occur
Mesothelioma is a rare and malignant cancer that affects cells in the lining of various organs, most commonly the lungs and abdomen.
The common cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Long-term and heavy exposure to asbestos occurs in the construction industry during the repair, renovation, and demolition of asbestos-containing materials.
Exposure may also occur after using asbestos-containing products such as insulation and other building materials, which means you can file a product liability lawsuit to receive compensation from the manufacturing parties. Cancer treatment is a lengthy and expensive process, so if you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a lawyer alongside a cancer specialist. Being a state that has witnessed 5,100 deaths due to mesothelioma from 1999 to 2017, finding an experienced lawyer wouldn’t be much of a hassle. Search online with keywords such as mesothelioma lawyer California and speak to a qualified attorney about your legal rights.
Warning Signs of Cancer/Mesothelioma
Shortness of breath
If you have difficulty breathing followed by pain without performing any strenuous exercise, you might have Pleural Mesothelioma, which specifically affects the lining of the lungs.
Chest and abdominal pain
A sharp pain in your chest or abdomen that persists for a couple of weeks when you don’t have any injuries may indicate cancerous growth.
Though rare, mesothelioma may also impact the lower abdomen and pelvic region, causing discomfort and pain in movement, inflamed genitals, bloody and discolored discharge, and soreness.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, liver, and intestines, can result in diarrhea or constipation despite a healthy fiber intake and proper hydration.
Night sweats and fever
Night sweating and high fever can be caused by a common cold. However, if the fever persists and you’re sweating too much, you should contact a medical professional.
Unexplained weight loss is a commonly overlooked symptom as it’s often celebrated as an achievement. However, if you haven’t changed your diet and exercise regime and you’re still losing weight, it’s a bad sign. Around 40% of patients say they had unexplained weight loss when first diagnosed with cancer.
Loss of appetite
A loss of appetite might occur if you have cancer, where you might not feel hungry for long periods, or the idea of food may make you feel sick. Try to document your eating schedule, and if your appetite doesn’t improve in a few days, consult a professional.
We all have lazy days when we simply don’t feel up for anything and spend the day in bed. However, if you feel overwhelmingly tired all the time, drastically lose energy after performing simple physical tasks, and feel dizzy after walking or standing up for too long, then you might have cancer-related chronic fatigue, which tends to affect 90% of patients.
These are coughs that persist without any fever or cold and leave your throat feeling scratchy and dry. If you have a case of chronic coughing that lasts over eight weeks, it is a sign of a serious medical condition like cancer.
Formation of lumps under the skin
Unusual lumps under the skin should be checked out regardless of whether you feel any pain or not. With mesothelioma, you might notice some mass forming around your chest and stomach. If they don’t go away within a few days, don’t ignore them.
A small amount of fluid exists naturally between our organs for lubrication and movement. However, an excessive buildup of this fluid can be dangerous. Mesothelioma may lead to fluid buildup around the lungs, intestines, liver, and stomach, leading to shortness of breath, painful breathing, abdominal pain, fatigue, and nausea. Various illnesses can result in this kind of fluid buildup, including lung disease, heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and cancer.
You might notice some skin issues, such as inflamed, red, and itchy skin. Unexplained puckering and pimples might occur that persist over several days. At this time, be sure to take your diet and allergies into account since you might be having a normal allergic reaction. However, if you can’t explain the inflammation, consult your doctor.
Bruising and bleeding
It is normal to get a bruise if you bump into a wall or table. However, your skin shouldn’t bruise way too easily. If you get a massive bruise after you stub your toe or after a similar small incident, then that is a cause for concern. You might even notice bruises you don’t even remember getting. Furthermore, they may also bleed easily and profusely.
Coughing up blood
Coughing up blood is one of the later signs of cancer. It means the tumor has spread to your lungs, and stalling on getting healthcare at this point is very risky. So, if you see any blood, immediately contact your doctor.
Women may suffer from alarming changes in their menstrual cycle before seeing any major signs of health decay. Abnormalities and changes include excessive blood loss, extreme pain, delayed or prolonged menstrual cycle, discolored discharge, and inflammation.
Over 50% of cancers are detected at an advanced stage, leading to reduced chances of survival, greater complications, and higher healthcare costs.
Cancer treatments like surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can greatly increase a person’s life expectancy, provided the tumor is found at an early stage when it hasn’t spread to major organs. With regular screening, you can spot the cancer early and improve your chances of recovery, so be sure to discuss any changes in your health with your doctor.