Am I at risk for mesothelioma?
The main risk factor for mesothelioma is long-term exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fire-resistant material once commonly found in insulation, ceiling and roofing vinyl, cement, and automotive brake materials. Most people develop mesothelioma about 30 years after coming into contact with asbestos.
Other mesothelioma risk factors include gender and age. Men are at higher risk of developing mesothelioma, and the average age of a mesothelioma patient is 60.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma develops slowly. Symptoms may take 20 to 50 years to appear. Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
If the doctor suspects mesothelioma, they may order one or more of the following diagnostic tests:
Biopsy: If something in your lung looks suspicious, the doctor may need to take a tissue sample from the lung for further testing. We offer many minimally invasive methods for sampling tissue that are quick and painless, including pleural biopsy and bronchoscopy.
What are my treatment options for mesothelioma?
There is no cure for advanced mesothelioma. But there are options to ease your pain, improve breathing, and make you more comfortable. We work closely with patients to prolong life expectancy and make sure you live the fullest life possible with relief from your symptoms.
Surgery is not usually an option because the cancer often is too advanced when it’s diagnosed. However, we may use:
- Radiation oncology
- Therapeutic options to relieve symptoms and improve breathing
- A combination of treatments
We participate in a number of clinical trials to test new mesothelioma treatments. Talk with your doctor about whether taking part in a trial may be right for you.