A mesothelioma diagnosis can be intimidating with many unknowns — how the disease will progress and what potential complications an individual might face are not universal. However, those who have mesothelioma can usually expect respiratory complications. This is because as tumors grow on the lungs it can affect how the lung functions. This could lead to patient to experience the following:
- Shortness of breath: just as it sounds, this is when someone is finding it difficult to breathe like they typically had been able to before being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Nearly three-fourths of all mesothelioma patients tell doctors they experience this condition.
- Those experiencing shortness of breath can start breathing techniques to help train their body to breathe better. Many patients also use supplemental oxygen to help manage this symptom.
- Pleural Effusion: this is the buildup of fluid between layers in the pleural lining of the lungs. The extra fluid pushes against the lungs which can make it hard to breathe. Doctors say nearly every mesothelioma patient has this symptom.
- The treatment for pleural effusion is for patients to receive a thoracentesis. This process drains fluid from the pleural area to help relieve pressure on the lungs. Another option for patients is a pleurodesis procedure. This is a more long-term solution that removes the space between the lung and chest wall so that fluid can no longer build up in that space.
- Rounded Atelectasis: this is also known as a folded lung or partially collapsed lung. When this happens, air enters the pleural space and builds up pressure against the lung. If someone experiences this, they need to seek medical treatment right away.
- Treatment for rounded atelectasis will depend on what the doctor or medical team feels is the best option. In many cases, physical therapy or a surgical procedure is performed to remedy the situation.
- Collapsed Lung: this is more severe than rounded atelectasis and thankfully, is one of the least reported complications for mesothelioma patients with less than 10% of patients experiencing this issue.
- For patients with a collapsed lung, they will also need medical treatments including physical therapy and possible surgery to help release the trapped air.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and experience one of these complications, you do not have to feel like you’re fighting the battle alone. At Shrader & Associates L.L.P. our team of attorneys has recovered more than $1 billion nationwide for clients and we will work hard for you. Get started today by contact us at (713) 787-3733.