Fluid buildup, referred to medically as fluid effusion, is a symptom of each of the three major types of mesothelioma. The different classifications are pleural effusion (which affects the lining of the lungs), peritoneal effusion (which affects the lining of the abdomen) and the rare pericardial effusion (which affects the lining of the heart).
Like most mesothelioma symptoms, fluid effusion can be caused by other diseases. This is why mesothelioma is misdiagnosed more often than many other diseases, and, therefore, the opinion of more than one medical professional is recommended. The most widely recognized test to determine if you have mesothelioma is a biopsy, where a piece of tissue is extracted and tested for the presence of mesothelioma cell types.
Fluid Buildup Causes
Most linings of sensitive organs or areas in the body have a modicum of fluid for lubrication, protection and other specific purposes. Fluid effusion can be caused by a buildup of these or other fluids, such as: serous fluid, blood, chyle, pus and urine. This buildup happens because of the body’s inability to regulate production and maintain healthy levels of fluid in these linings. Asbestos, when inhaled, embeds itself in the lining of the lungs or spreads further and creates extensive complications through its carcinogenic effects. Although fluid buildup can take a great deal of time, it is a serious symptom that can create further problems, especially if left untreated.
Fluid Buildup Signs and Related Symptoms
Most of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can be caused or exacerbated by fluid effusion. Consider the following common symptoms:
- Distended abdomen
- Difficulty breathing
- Complicated bowel movements
- Excessive belching or flatulence
- Overall discomfort
The unfortunate reality is that these symptoms can be indicative of many types of illnesses and their tendency to seem unassuming or tolerable in early stages leads many people to ignore them. Because of the longevity of mesothelioma, it is important to inform your physician of any possible or definite contact with asbestos and any health concerns you may have.
If you notice sudden shortness of breath or increased strain in your heart or chest during regular physical activity, it is always worth talking to your doctor. CT or PET scans can identify fluid buildup and assist with diagnosis. At the very least, scans inform your doctor that there is fluid that must be drained and temporary relief will be possible. Treatment may include surgically implanted tubes to drain the fluid.
Legal Implications of Mesothelioma
A diagnosis of mesothelioma of any type may entitle you to receive damages from all liable parties and bankruptcy trust funds. Contact us to speak with the nation’s best mesothelioma lawyers and receive a free and confidential case evaluation to determine which parties may be held liable for your asbestos exposure.