Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma and almost always occurs due to asbestos exposure, and it is unfortunately one of the deadliest types of pulmonary cancer. As with any other invasive disease, earlier diagnosis often leads to additional treatment options and an improved prognosis. Increased awareness has helped more people seek the advice of a physician, but some of the symptoms may manifest themselves later than others. The latest research is striving to diagnose Pleural Mesothelioma sooner which will allow quicker treatment.
The symptoms associated with Pleural Mesothelioma are fairly common to other breathing disorders as well, so many patients wait to seek treatment. Consumer advocacy groups are trying to publish reports and increase the awareness of the disease to encourage individuals to go to a physician as soon as any of these symptoms appear. Shortness of breath may be one of the initial signs, which is often followed by pain in the rib cage or lower back area. Later symptoms can include lumps of tissue directly under the skin surface and painful coughing. Some more common signs such as unexplained weight loss are found in many other conditions and may not be enough to cause a physician to expect a more serious disease or cancer.
Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma can occur as a result of an imaging study that shows masses or shadowing on the lungs, but it often is found much later. Biopsies can be collected from masses and lumps of tissue, but this of course requires a physician to find a suitable site to draw fluid. Some of the latest techniques are focused on enhanced imaging screens that would be offered to any individual that has ever knowingly been exposed to asbestos. High risk workers should contact their doctor and request a scan. More research studies are placing an emphasis on studying the various blood levels and trying to determine if it will be possible to allow an early diagnosis based on the results.