Despite numerous reported mesothelioma cases, this remains to be one of the fatal forms cancer that is almost untreatable. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma could be very common which is why the patient may just take it for granted. Sometimes the symptoms could also be non-specific which often results in very late diagnosis since they could be mistaken as a result of more common diseases. For instance, mesothelioma symptoms are frequently mistaken as signs of pneumonia.
More often than not the symptoms start manifesting from two to three months before mesothelioma is detected. And these symptoms may appear only after 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.
The following are common early symptoms of mesothelioma. If you or your loved one is suffering from any of the following symptoms immediately check with your physician.
- Blood in the sputum
- A cough or change in cough pattern
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
- Weight loss
- Immune deficiency related illnesses such as colds
Mesothelioma Symptoms Shortness of Breath
There are more symptoms associated with each type of mesothelioma cancer. The linings of the chest and lungs are called pleura. Pleural mesothelioma affects these regions of the body. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which is the most commonly occurring type, is weight loss but to related with shift in diet, extreme tiredness, difficulty in swallowing, raspy or hoarse voice, constant shortness of breath, cough that has been recurring for a long time, chest pains, back pains, extreme sweating and recurring fever. Pleural mesothelioma patients suffer from pleural effusion or a buildup of liquid in the pleural space or chest cavity.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the stomach and the abdomen. Other affected organs are the bowel, liver and spleen. Symptoms include pain on the belly area, abdominal swelling, recurring constipation or diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, breathing problems, chest pain, fever, foot swelling, anemia and even blood clotting abnormalities.
The rarest form of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma. This type affects the heart and the cavity that surrounds the heart called the pericardium. It can cause some or all of the following symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, dyspnea and palpitations. Patients suffering from this kind of mesothelioma also suffers from pericardial effusion or a collection of fluid in the sac that surrounds the heart.
If the cancer cells have spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms like pain, trouble swallowing or swelling of the neck or face may be experienced by the patient.