Types of pain in mesothelioma
Pain from the tumor
In its early stages, mesothelioma may cause only a nagging discomfort or mild pain in the chest or back. As the tumor enlarges, it presses on nerves, organs, or bone. It may also destroy soft tissue and nearby nerves. Eventually, as the tumor spreads, it grows into the chest, the chest muscles and ribs, destroying tissue and causing increasing pain.
Pain arising from treatment for mesothelioma
Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy all aim to reduce the spread of the mesothelioma. When they are successful in doing this, these interventions will reduce the pain as well. At the same time, each of these interventions will themselves often cause some pain. Mesothelioma patients often experience suppression of their immune system as a result of these therapies, and are therefore more vulnerable to certain secondary conditions which can be painful.
Pain unrelated to mesothelioma
Patients may experience pain from other conditions, such as a herniated disc, migraines, arthritis, kidney stones, muscle strains and other aches and pains. Pain from these non-mesothelioma conditions can also cause considerable discomfort, and should be treated along with cancer pain.