Mesothelioma Symptoms

 

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, the tissue that encases the lungs, heart, and other internal organs. The vast majority of cases are caused by exposure to asbestos.

LONG LATENCY PERIOD

Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear for 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. By the time symptoms appear, it is too late for any life-saving treatment. Mesothelioma is always fatal. However, treatments to extend life are available.

Prompt diagnosis of mesothelioma is important. Patients whose disease is in advanced stages may not be candidates for the most effective surgical procedures. Mesothelioma symptoms are often mistaken for other, less serious diseases.

If you or a family member experiences the following symptoms, please consult a doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have had any past exposure to asbestos.

PLEURAL (LUNG) MESOTHELIOMA SYMPTOMS

  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful breathing
  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry (nonproductive) cough
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling of the face and arms
  • Muscle weakness

PERITONEAL (ABDOMINAL) MESOTHELIOMA SYMPTOMS

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Blood clotting abnormalities
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel habits, such as more frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • Lumps of tissue or fluid in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.