Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that is caused by exposure to a mineral called asbestos. Though rare, the incidence of mesothelioma has steadily increased in the last twenty years. The people who are mostly affected by this disease are persons exposed to asbestos, such as miners, and workers in industries that use asbestos. These industrial products include cement, roof shingles, flooring and textile.
Initial symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest caused by pleural effusion. There may also be abdominal swelling, anemia, fever, and tumors.
These symptoms, however, appear as late as 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure. That’s why mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as another form of respiratory carcinoma.
Mesothelioma treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and surgery. However, mesothelioma is difficult to treat, and there is still no known cure for it.