Understanding the Symptoms of Mesothelioma

The process of getting diagnosed with Mesothelioma is far from simple. Diagnostics include a variety of tests and procedures to rule everything else out before ultimately ending up with the life-changing diagnosis.

It takes time. It’s complex. And when you account for the variables associated with the latency period, the whole thing can seem like a an unsolvable puzzle.

That’s why it’s important not just to understand the symptoms of mesothelioma, but to understand what they mean to you.

Here’s what you need to know:

The list of of mesothelioma symptoms is long and vary by type of mesothelioma.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath, respiratory complications or difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the chest and abdomen
  • Wheezing and dry coughing
  • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Fevers
  • Pleural effusions
  • Anemia

The symptom categories. The majority of mesothelioma symptoms fall into the following categories:

Abdominal – From pain and swelling to overall distension and gassiness, it is common for mesothelioma victims to experience tightness and cramping of the abdomen. The result is usually a hypersensitivity to anything touching the abdomen and a general sense of fullness. In some cases, lumps may develop under abdominal skin, indicating signs of a cyst or tumor. Abdominal hernias are a pretty rare symptom of mesothelioma, but they do occur and can include similar abdominal symptoms to those already listed.

Gastrointestinal – This can include anything from loss of appetite to issues with bowel obstruction. Persistent vomiting is another cause for concern and weight loss may occur as well.

Anemia and fatigue – Especially when combined with other symptoms, the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream caused by anemia is likely to result in a general feeling of fatigue.

Nervous system complaints – Many mesothelioma sufferers report issues with fever or chills, which is a result of rapid muscle contraction and relaxation. Night sweats are another common symptom that usually indicates a fever is occurring overnight.

Respiratory issues – Wheezing, coughing, coughing up blood and difficulty breathing are most common. Fluid backup is also common in the lungs, contributing to issues with shortness of breath or pressure in the area around the lungs. In some cases, lumps may develop under the skin of the chest, indicating signs of a cyst, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Cardiovascular problems – Heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart murmurs and heart palpitations are other common issues in varying stages of the disease. Chest pains can include sharp, recurring pains, persistent dull pains, or a combination of the two. A feeling of pressure on the heart or reduced chest expansion are also frequently reported.

The variables. Many of the symptoms are shared with other diseases and conditions. It’s not unheard of for someone with mesothelioma to think maybe they’ve just fallen ill with a common cold or flu bug, if not something more severe with similar symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, symptoms worsen and can include chest pain, weight loss and further complications with the respiratory system. It is crucial at any stage of the process to seek an accurate diagnosis using whatever means necessary.

The types. Different symptoms mean different mesothelioma diagnoses. Depending mostly on the type of asbestos exposure, there are several variations of mesothelioma. Each has its own source of localized symptoms, which are as follows:

Pleural Mesothelioma, or cancer of the mesothelial lining protecting the lungs and lung cavity, generally results in discomfort in the chest and painful breathing. Other common symptoms include fluid buildup, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry cough and weight loss.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma, or a cancerous growth on the peritoneal mesothelium lining around the stomach and abdominal cavity, usually presents with fluid buildup in the abdomen, weight loss, loss of appetite and digestion problems.

Pericardial Mesothelioma, a cancer condition affecting the mesothelial lining around the heart, commonly presents with symptoms of nausea, difficulty breathing, dry cough, dizziness, fatigue, weight loss and swelling in hands and feet.
Testicular Mesothelioma, which refers to a cancer condition that affects the mesothelial lining tissues in the groin, will likely result in pain, swelling and general discomfort in the groin area.

The process of getting diagnosed with Mesothelioma takes time. It is complex. And when you account for the variables associated with the latency period, the whole thing can seem like an unsolvable puzzle.

Don’t try to solve it alone.

If you or a loved one have received a diagnosis for any type of Mesothelioma or other cancers related to asbestos, contact our legal team at Mesowatch today.

You will receive immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. We will use our knowledge and expertise to help you identify all liable parties and quickly pursue the maximum possible compensation.

Amna Anees

Author

Amna has recently received her Master's degree in molecular biology and currently working as blogger and content writer. With a strong interest in Science, she loves to research and write about new developments in the therapeutic studies of mesothelioma.