Mesothelioma Symptoms

Exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma. Symptoms of mesothelioma typically develop between 20 and 50 years after the patient’s initial exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer can take several decades to manifest and symptoms do not appear until after the cancer is present. Many patients downplay the severity of their condition because symptoms of mesothelioma often resemble those of a less severe ailment.

Early Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma symptoms rarely develop in the early stages. Because of this, the disease is often diagnosed in a later stage of development. To help an earlier detection, patients who have been exposed to asbestos should undergo regular chest X-rays or pulmonary (lung) function tests to monitor signs of asbestos inhalation.

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma. This for of the cancer accounts for about two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

Persistent dry or raspy cough. Little or no phlegm is usually involved.
Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Shortness of breath, even when resting
Coughing up blood
Fatigue
Night sweats or fever
Unexplained weight loss
Lumps on the chest. They may or may not be painful

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about 25-30% of mesothelioma case. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include:

Persistent dry or raspy cough. Little or no phlegm is usually involved.
Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Shortness of breath, even when resting
Fatigue
Night sweats or fever
Unexplained weight loss
Swelling or pain in the abdomen
Anemia (decreased red blood cell count)
Diarrhea or constipation, general changes in bowel habits, regularity, or consistency
Nausea or vomiting
Lumps on the abdomen. They may or may not be painful.

Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms

Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of the cancer. This form makes up less than 5 percent of all cases. The symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include:

Persistent dry or raspy cough. Little or no phlegm is usually involved.
Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Shortness of breath, even when resting
Coughing up blood
Fatigue
Night sweats or fever
Unexplained weight loss
Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat