I was contacted yesterday by the Mesolthelioma Center who asked if I wouldn't mind creating a link to their noteworthy foundation. I am all too glad to do so given the often horrific after effects of asbestos exposure in the form of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium - the lining covering many parts of the inside of the body, in particular the outer covering of the lungs, chest wall and abdomen. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos although other risk factors, such as smoking, can increase risk for disease and worsen the prognosis. Symptoms may not appear until decades after the exposure, which can often obscure the origin of the symptoms that the individual is experiencing and make the eventual diagnosis more difficult to achieve.
Symptoms of mesothelioma depend upon the area of the body affected. I have lifted the following directly from wikipedia.com since the symptoms possible are so lengthy. However, see the Mesothelioma Center's page here for a more in-depth breakdown of the parts of the body affected and the ways in which the disease can manifest.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.
Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:
- Chest wall pain
- Pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue or anemia
- Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
- Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (hemoptysis)
Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
- A mass in the abdomen
- Problems with bowel function
- Weight loss
In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:
- Blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Low blood sugar level
- Pleural effusion
- Pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
As I have described in other parts of this website, I often work with people with cancer - for the management of the side effects and symptoms of the chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation therapies, as well as for immune system regulation. As such, I have seen many people going through the treatments associated with mesothelioma at the Northside Holistic Center. What the Mesothelioma Center asked me to do was to print the following code block below, which I am happy to do. Please contact them for additional information on this disease and it's associated symptoms. I would be happy to serve as an information and treatment source on the acupuncture and Chinese medical side of the equation.
Acupuncture has been linked to alleviating the nausea associated with chemotherapy and the pain incurred from the constant surgeries that cancer patients undergo. The Mesothelioma Center offers the most comprehensive and current information on asbestos exposure and a complete list of mesothelioma causes.
Another great resource is the website Mesothelioma Symptoms which gives a good sense of symptoms, treatments and resources for those working through mesothelioma.