Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive type of cancer related to asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a natural mineral widely used in industries including construction, shipbuilding and manufacturing for 100 years due to its heat resistance, tensile strength and insulating properties. During the 20th century, it was discovered to be toxic, but millions of people had already been in contact with asbestos. If the mineral interacts with other materials, fibers and released into the air and swollen or inhaled.
These fibers can then travel through the body to the mesothelial cells, which gather around the organs, forming a membrane that moisten the organs, known as the mesothelium. Since the body cannot properly expel the asbestos fibers, they become trapped in the mesothelium and irritate the cells, causing the formation of tumors.
Feeling of Fullness Due to Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of the disease, after the pleural mesothelioma, accounting for about 20% of all cases. It take can take decades between exposure to asbestos and experiencing the first symptoms, while these are also not specific or exclusive to the disease, which can delay the diagnosis or make it be mistaken for other conditions. Given the location of the cancer, symptoms can seem similar to digestive problems and include feeling of fullness even when the person hasn’t eaten.
This form of cancer affects the abdomen and the nearby organs. The feeling of fullness is not fully understood, but it can be related to physical reasons. When the tumors start to grow and the disease progresses or when there is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, organs like the stomach can be pressured. This pressure affects the normal function of the organs and occupy its space, leaving less space in the stomach for food. In addition, feeling of fullness and lack of appetite can also be related to the emotional burden of the disease, which can cause depression and anxiety.
Management of Feeling of Fullness by Mesothelioma Patients
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatment that can help ease the symptoms, increasing patients’ quality of life and life expectancy. Developments in the field have resulted in improvements in the therapies and safety of the options currently available, which include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the majority of the cases, a combination of therapies is recommended. In addition, there are also strategies that can be discussed between patients and physicians or dietitians to address the feeling of fullness.
If a patient feels full despite not eating enough, he or she may be recommended to eat smaller but more frequent meals that are high in protein and calories. Patients may also suffer alterations in their taste, which is why it is important to try new foods or combinations of foods to maximize the amount of food eaten. Dietitians may also recommend the use of nutritional supplements to avoid feeling even more sick for not eating enough. There is also medication, such as steroids, that can stimulate the appetite, but its use is not particularly common.
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