Mesothelioma symptoms are commonly found in individuals who have worked in mines and is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos poisoning. It mostly affects the protective lining of the lungs and chest though it may also occur in other organs such as the lungs (Pleural) heart (Pericardial), the testis (Testicular) and the abdomen (Peritoneal). Perhaps the most challenging part of this form of cancer is the diagnosis. Symptoms do not appear immediately or shortly after asbestos exposure. They can take 20 to 50 years or even more to show up. And even when they do, it is easy to mistake them with those of other diseases. Below we take a deeper look at common symptoms of mesothelioma.
Are you concerned that you or a loved one might have cancer? Are you wondering what are the early symptoms and first signs of Mesothelioma?
As mentioned, most symptoms take decades to appear. There are however a few early warning signs you should be on the lookout for. Too often these signs are ignored or misdiagnosed. They are:
If you experience several of the above symptoms it is urgent that you get checked out by your doctor.
Each type of mesothelioma cancer comes with its own set of symptoms. Some of them may overlap.
This is the most common form of mesothelioma. Symptoms include:
Photo: Steve McQueen died in 1980 of the pleural type of this cancer.
In the later stages of this cancer, when the disease has progressed to a severe level, a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) may be experienced. It is also at this time that the tumors in the pleural lining can spread to nearby organs including the heart, abdomen and diaphragm.
It affects the lining of the abdominal cavity and is the most difficult to diagnose. Signs and symptoms include:
This rare form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart. Signs and symptoms include:
Most other symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are similar to those of pleural mesothelioma.
This is the rarest of all forms of cancer from poisoning by asbestos, consisting of less than 5 percent of all cases. It affects the lining around the testis. The only symptom of this testicular cancer is a lump occurring in the testis, which may be a sign of a growing tumor.
If you notice any symptoms of cancer from asbestos exposure, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. The earlier the cancer is caught the more effective the treatment process. The doctor will use various diagnosis techniques including imaging and biopsy to confirm the presence of the cancer.
When you first notice the symptoms you should see your general practitioner. Based on your condition and whatever diagnosis or treatments you need, you will be passed along to specialists in the field. You may have to see a radiologist or a pulmonologists for more in-depth diagnosis.
If your diagnosis is positive, you may get treated by oncologists, radiation therapists, homeopathy doctors and surgeons. The first person to see however is your primary physician. If he or she provides a negative diagnosis, you can see an oncologist (cancer doctor) for a second opinion.
Because of the lack of distinct symptoms, mesothelioma is all too often misdiagnosed as another illness. Even experienced medical experts can make a misdiagnosis. Diseases that have similar symptoms include: