Mesothelioma symptoms are tricky – they mimic common ailments and remain manageable for decades. A mesothelioma diagnosis is all the more devastating when the victim finds out that the symptoms they have experienced for up to 40 years or more were signs of a serious cancer.
Whether or not you have a work history involving asbestos exposure, it is important to be proactive and make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you experience mesothelioma symptoms. It may take years or decades to develop, but once symptoms are noticed and severe, it usually means the cancer is in a late stage. If you act fast and notice that mild symptoms could be linked to something more severe, you will give yourself the best chance at recovery.
Misdiagnosis of mesothelioma symptoms, unfortunately, happens very often. When patients receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma when it is in its late stages, it may not be your fault. Patients visit their doctor’s office with initial symptoms that are very subtle and imitate cold and flu-like illnesses. Patients tend to recover for a while and then the symptoms return. Knowledge is definitely power in this situation. If you know that you have had exposure to asbestos either from working in a high risk career – including construction, shipyards, as a Navy soldier, manufacturer of asbestos – or have had close contact with someone who did between 1940 and 1980, let your doctor know this upfront so they can run further tests. Letting your doctor know of your past exposure to asbestos will only assist them in providing the proper diagnosis when mesothelioma symptoms present themselves. If you are certain about your asbestos exposure, you may want to pass on the appointment to your primary care physician and proceed directly to a mesothelioma specialist.
The initial mesothelioma symptoms vary depending upon the type of mesothelioma you have contracted. Chest symptoms are most likely pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms you may experience include pain in one side of your chest or shortness of breath. When symptoms are in your abdomen, this is called peritoneal mesothelioma. These symptoms include rapid weight loss, nausea, fluid accumulation in the abdomen and abdominal pain.
Don’t forget – the main reason mesothelioma symptoms are not recognized as such is that they present as normal symptoms of any illness. As they progress and become worse, new symptoms will reveal themselves. These mesothelioma symptoms are serious and will require medical treatments to provide relief. They can include loss of the ability for your body to clot blood, bowel obstruction, anemia and severe chest pain. Experiencing any of these severe mesothelioma symptoms will make any patient immediately request a doctor’s office visit. It is imperative that you find a mesothelioma specialist to help you prolong your mesothelioma prognosis. Also, if you were exposed to asbestos, it was probably done illegally. Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to help with your legal claim for this exposure.