Mesothelioma is an aggressive, serious kind of cancer. It generally affects the tissues forming a protective lining (the mesothelium) that covers some of a person’s internal organs. It often shows up in the tissue around the lungs, where it is known as pleural mesothelioma. It can also develop in a person’s abdomen, which is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
This type of cancer is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. The exact impact it has on a person’s body will depend on where it is located and how severe it is. But early treatment is always best, so it’s important to know what symptoms to get checked out if it is possible that this condition is present and becoming symptomatic.
5 common mesothelioma symptoms
Symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer, but common signs and symptoms include:
- Respiratory Issues: Persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or difficulty breathing are common symptoms.
- Pain: Chest or abdominal pain and discomfort are frequent symptoms. Pleural mesothelioma can cause chest wall pain, while peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the abdominal lining, may lead to abdominal pain and swelling.
- Fluid Buildup: Accumulation of fluid in the pleural or abdominal cavity (pleural effusion or ascites, respectively) may cause swelling, discomfort and difficulty breathing or eating.
- Fatigue and Weakness: Persistent fatigue, weakness and unexplained weight loss can be signs of mesothelioma or other health issues and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Other Symptoms: Some patients might experience fever, night sweats, muscle weakness and overall malaise. Every situation is unique, which is why meeting with medical professionals is so important.
It’s critical to remember that these symptoms can manifest as a result of less severe conditions – such as an ulcer or a persistent cold. With that said, these symptoms can also be too easily dismissed as a lesser condition. If someone has a history of asbestos exposure and experiences any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional promptly for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
The treatment for mesothelioma is often very expensive, and the disease can result in many other financial impacts on a person’s life. Those who have been diagnosed may benefit from looking into all of the legal options they have so that they can seek compensation for medical bills, long-term care needs, lost wages, etc. whenever appropriate.