According to Mayo Clinic, mesothelioma is a form of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer, and there is still no cure for it. However, treatment options are available. Often, mesothelioma is diagnosed at an advanced stage, and the main aim of treatment is to manage symptoms and keep them under control. This is known as palliative treatment. There are several ways patients can manage mesothelioma symptoms.
Below is a look at some of the most common ways of managing mesothelioma symptoms.
Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice. For medical advice, please speak to your doctor.
Managing Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on the type of mesothelioma and cancer stage. However, some of the most common mesothelioma symptoms include;
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent cough
Shortness of Breath
Breathlessness or shortness of breath is the most common symptom of pleural mesothelioma. Usually, shortness of breath occurs because of a fluid build-up in the pleural cavity known as a pleural effusion that puts pressure on the lung, making it more difficult to breathe. To control fluid around the lungs, an individual can, for example, have a talc pleurodesis, which involves the closing of the pleural cavity. When it comes to controlling breathlessness, a range of simple strategies can help. These strategies include:
- Sleeping in a recliner chair
- Equipment such as an incentive spirometer
- Relaxing on a pillow
Pain can be both a mesothelioma symptom and a side effect of the medication. There are several ways of managing pain, including:
- Procedures to manage fluid build-up (fluid build-up can also cause pain, aside from breathlessness)
- Debulking surgery
Mesothelioma tumors can cause fatigue when they use up energy and protein as they grow. It is also common for mesothelioma patients to experience fatigue during chemotherapy. Unfortunately, fatigue for individuals with mesothelioma does not always go away with sleep or rest. However, proper sleep plus proper nutrition habits, for instance, can help minimize fatigue.
Loss of Appetite
When it comes to the lack of appetite, an individual needs to manage the symptoms that affect their ability to eat. A palliative care specialist can help with this. It is also important to speak to a dietician with experience dealing with cancer patients. Such an expert can provide meaningful suggestions.
As a mesothelioma patient experiencing loss of appetite, below are some tips to help you:
- Have small meals and/or snacks regularly.
- Eat moist food as they tend to be easier to eat and will cause less irritation if you have a sore mouth.
- Eat more of your favorite foods.
- Stay away from fatty or sugary foods if they make you feel sick.
A persistent cough related to mesothelioma can be controlled by medications, medical procedures, or home remedies. For instance, some patients have found relief from persistent cough by using, among others, the following home remedies:
- Gargling warm water mixed with salt
- Drinking hot water with honey and lemon juice
- Drinking herbal teas that are famous for cough suppression
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or someone you know is battling mesothelioma, feel free to contact our office and speak to one of our attorneys, specially experienced with mesothelioma cases, about your situation. We can help investigate your case and determine if you can seek compensation from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.