Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the mesothelial cells due to asbestos exposure. The mesothelial cells compose the membrane lining around certain organs, which is known as the mesothelium. Asbestos is a natural mineral that was widely used for over 100 years in industries like construction, shipbuilding and manufacturing due to its heat resistance, tensile strength and insulating properties. However, it has been proven to be toxic during the 20th century.
Asbestos might be harmless when undisturbed. But when the material interacts with other materials, asbestos fibers are released into the air. These fibers can be swallowed or inhaled, causing irritation of mesothelial cells and the formation of tumors. The rare but aggressive disease can affect the lungs, which is known as pleural mesothelioma, the abdomen, which is peritoneal mesothelioma, the heart, which is pericardial mesothelioma, or the testicles, which is called testicular mesothelioma.
How Nausea or Vomiting Affects Patients with Mesothelioma
All different types of mesothelioma can cause a wide range of symptoms, but in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the digestive system is often affected. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of the disease, accounting for about 20% of the cases, and it can cause nausea or vomiting. The abdomen and adjacent organs are affected and pressured by the tumors, which results in nausea or vomiting as one of the first signs of the disease. In other types of mesothelioma, nausea or vomiting can also occur as a secondary symptom due to chest, abdominal or heart pain.
All patients may experience acute nausea, which has a fast onset but it is not persistent or regular, or chronic nausea, which is unrelenting and continuous. In some cases, nausea can result in loss of appetite and difficulty eating. In addition to the disease, mesothelioma patients may suffer nausea or vomiting due to chemotherapy. Acute chemotherapy-induced emesis occurs during the day of the chemotherapy, while delayed emesis occurs more than 24 hours after the treatment, and anticipatory emesis is a conditioned vomiting response related to lack of proper antiemetic protection in previous chemotherapy courses.
Management of Nausea or Vomiting by Mesothelioma Patients
To address the symptoms of mesothelioma, the best course of treatment is to fight the underlying disease itself. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatments designed to ease the symptoms, which include surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy. In the specific case of nausea or vomiting, physicians may also recommend additional therapies. It is important for nausea or vomiting to be treated since it improves overall health, vitality and prognosis, while if left untreated, nausea can cause dehydration, loss of appetite and weight loss. Antiemetics are medications that stimulate the physiologic vomiting center in the medulla, mediating nausea or vomiting.
Note: Mesothelioma Research News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.