Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease and early diagnosis is crucial for there to be any chance of survival. However, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose. To begin with, mesothelioma is rare and symptoms often do not start until the disease is in its advanced stages. In addition, mesothelioma symptoms are not specific to the disease and are often ignored or mistaken for common, minor ailments.

Since mesothelioma is rare and symptoms are common to many illnesses, patients may play a large role in their own diagnosis. Patients who suspect they may have mesothelioma should tell their doctors about any past exposure to asbestos because all three forms of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure. In addition, patients should be familiar with mesothelioma warning signs and symptoms.

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

While there are three different types of mesothelioma, the most common mesothelioma type is pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining around the lungs and may cause symptoms such as:

  • fluid in the lungs
  • lower back pain
  • chest pain or pain in the rib cage
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • trouble swallowing
  • cough
  • fever
  • hoarseness
  • coughing up blood
  • swelling of the face and arms
  • muscle weakness

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of mesothelioma and accounts for up to 20% of all mesothelioma cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining around the abdomen and may cause several symptoms. The symptoms include:

  • stomach/abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fluid in the abdominal cavity

Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms

The least common type of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma, or mesothelioma of the pericardium. While pericardial mesothelioma only accounts for about 10% of mesothelioma cases worldwide, it is considered the most lethal form of mesothelioma. Most pericardial mesothelioma symptoms are caused by fluid build-up in the sac surrounding the heart. These symptoms may include:

  • heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing, even when at rest
  • fever or night sweats

If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma and its painful symptoms, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and more. Contact us today!

Published November 17, 2011 by