Mesothelioma Symptoms are Very Varied and Numerous – Mesothelioma symptoms show decades after exposure to asbestos has taken place. Mesothelioma can’t be conclusively diagnosed from observation of its symptoms alone as the cancer has symptoms that are common to other illnesses. Additionally, different types of mesothelioma have different symptoms.
Many symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are non-specific, and are also seen in a number of other chest and abdominal conditions. This, combined with the lack of an accurate history of asbestos exposure in some patients, may considerably delay diagnosis. The majority of people with mesothelioma only have symptoms during the two to three months before they are diagnosed. About one quarter of all people with malignant mesothelioma have symptoms for about six months before diagnosis.
Once symptoms are present, they may depend on the location of the primary cancer. In general, symptoms become more pronounced with more advanced disease. With pleural mesothelioma, common symptoms are difficulty breathing, cough, pain in the chest or under the ribcage, coughing up blood, hoarseness, and the collection of fluid or pleural effusion in the pleural cavity. The face and arms may swell up. Many of these symptoms and signs are also seen with lung cancer.
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, or the lining of the lungs. It is the most common form of mesothelioma. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are chest pain, difficulty with breathing, difficulty with swallowing, coughing of blood and night sweats.
Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the peritoneum, or the lining of the abdomen. Its symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, swelling of the abdomen, abdominal pain and formation of lumps of tissue in the abdomen.
With peritoneal mesothelioma, symptoms may include a lump or swelling in the abdomen, abdominal pain, fluid in the abdomen, constipation due to bowel obstruction, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Patients suffering from pericardial mesothelioma may experience chest pain, breathlessness and palpitations. Some symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are common to many cancers. These include unexplained weight loss, fever and fatigue.
Pericardial mesothelioma is found in the tissue surrounding the heart. It is among the rarest types of mesothelioma, found in about 5% of mesothelioma cases. The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are chest pain, irregular heart beat, fever and difficulty with breathing.
Testicular mesothelioma, or mesothelioma of Tunica Vaginalis develops in the tissue surrounding the testicles. The symptom of this type of mesothelioma is the presence of a mass on the testicle. Because this type of mesothelioma is the rarest type of the cancer, information concerning its symptoms is limited.
Anyone experiencing the symptoms described above should take heart that mesothelioma is a rare cancer afflicting about 3,000 people in the US each year. Thus, it is likely that the symptoms are indicative of a condition or illness less serious than mesothelioma. However, no conclusion should be reached without the guidance of a healthcare professional.
It is especially important for people who worked with asbestos containing products or lived with anyone who did, to seek medical attention if they are experiencing the symptoms of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, asbestos was used in a wide range of products such as brakes, roofing shingles, electrical wiring and insulation material. Consequently, workers such as mechanics, construction workers, boiler workers, electricians and others who worked with asbestos products are at risk of developing mesothelioma. Further, people who lived with asbestos industry workers are also at risk of developing the cancer from secondary asbestos exposure e.g., washing the asbestos contaminated clothes of someone who worked with asbestos.
People pained from mesothelioma have to consider contacting an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Companies in the asbestos industry knew of the deadly dangers of asbestos but did not disclose them to maintain profitability. For the same excuse, companies didn’t provide protective equipment which could have prevented exposure to asbestos. Therefore, the law allows mesothelioma patients to submit legal claims against companies responsible for their exposure to asbestos.
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