The beginning occurrences of symptoms of mesothelioma can present themselves as common and non-specific illnesses. Because of this, a mesothelioma diagnosis can be delayed for many years. Victims diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma can present symptoms similar to viral pneumonia including persistent cough, chest pain and/or shortness of breath. Some victims of mesothelioma do not exhibit symptoms at all. A doctor experienced with mesothelioma will request a chest x-ray that could help define fluid build-up or pleural effusion. Sixty percent of the time, statistics demonstrate that the right lung is infected while only 5% of the time are both lungs infected. Other, less likely pleural symptoms of mesothelioma can include night sweats, fever and weight loss. Peritoneal symptoms of mesothelioma can consist of swelling in the abdomen due to a build-up of fluid, pain, anemia, obstruction of the bowel, nausea, weight loss or swelling of the feet.
Other common asbestos symptoms are related to fluid development in the lungs. Tumors develop in the chest or abdomen due to thickening in the pleura and nodules. This is a critical factor for the advancement of symptoms that surpass the simple cold or flu. Half of mesothelioma patients experience chest pain positioned in the low chest and toward the back and side. Over time, the pain advances and will soon require prescription medications. Prolonged pain is normally a sign there are tumors within the chest wall. The wall lining of the lungs is extremely susceptible to pain. This wall along with the rib cage moves as we breathe using the diaphragm. These organs are all linked leading some patients to have abdominal swelling from the accumulation of fluid known as ascites.
Another mesothelioma symptom is Dyspnea. Mesothelioma patients will experience difficulty breathing with the fluid accumulating in the pleural space between the chest wall and the lung due to the cancer. The accumulation of this fluid is known as pleural effusion. Asbestosis, and asbestos-related illness carries a 95% chance of pleural effusion during some point of the course of the disease. Malignant mesothelioma can present itself in three forms: pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial.
Less than 6% of mesothelioma statistics show as pericardial mesothelioma cases. Similar to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial symptoms of mesothelioma bear a resemblance to heart condition symptoms and this could delay diagnosis. Peritoneal symptoms of mesothelioma do not usually appear until the advanced stages of the cancer and even then resemble symptoms of other illnesses. Pleural symptoms of mesothelioma are present in many other illnesses. A medical professional should know that treatments for common ailments such as bronchitis, the flu and pneumonia that do not bring relief should be a warning signal that something more serious is occurring – like mesothelioma.