What Everyone Should Know About Pleural Thickening

Published: 21st January 2009
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Many of us at one time will have a shortness of breath and/or chest pain. If you ever have these symptoms you could be developing pleural mesothelioma and will want to read this article. Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer found in the lungs. It is crucial to understand the warning signs of pleural thickening because it is a deadly disease. In this article you will learn more about what pleural mesothelioma is and the warning signs of pleural thickening.

Your lungs are surrounded by a lining or membrane that helps protect the organ and serve as a lubricating layer for the lungs. This same lining encases most other organs as well. In the lining around the lungs there are two layers. The inner most layer near the lung tissue is the visceral layer. The outer layer is called the parietal layer. In between them is a lubricating fluid to help the two layers slide back and forth over each other. This lubrication is needed to make it easy for the lungs to expand and contract while we breath.

In these layers is where the disease pleural mesothelioma begins. As the cancer spreads it causes the layer to become more restrictive and thus pleural thickening begins. As the pleural thickening increases the mesothelioma symptoms become more noticeable. These symptoms include difficulty in breathing, difficulty in sleeping, pain in the chest and abdominal regions, blood vomits, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, lower back pains, persistent coughing, hoarseness of voice, sensory loss and difficulty in swallowing. If you have any of these you should consult your doctor, especially if you have a history of exposure to asbestos.

If you go to the doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms and are diagnosed with mesothelioma there is a much better chance of treatment. The first step of diagnosis is to have a chest x-ray or a CT scan completed. This will reveal any pleural thickening. This is followed by a bronchoscopy. A doctor may also elect to perform a biopsy or a thoracoscopy, where a mini camera is inserted inside the body and with that a tissue sample is attained for further diagnosis.

Treatment of mesothelioma is directly proportional to the time of the revelation of the disease. In the early stages the cancer can be removed through surgery and you can possible avoid having radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

For more information and guides on mesothelioma visit http://www.mesothelioma-cancer-help.info/ where you will find this and much more, including the most common occupations for asbestos exposure, mesothelioma lawyers, mesothelioma treatments and mesothelioma symptoms.

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