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Mesothelioma Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The symptoms of mesothelioma can resemble the symptoms of other illnesses and diseases, especially in the early stages of disease. Mesothelioma also has what is called a long latency period, meaning that symptoms of mesothelioma often don’t occur until years after exposure to asbestos, the primary cause of mesothelioma. In most cases, this latency period is twenty years or longer. This can make correctly diagnosing the symptoms of mesothelioma difficult. Since the earlier this disease is caught, the better it responds to treatment, those who believe they may be at risk should be aware of the early symptoms of mesothelioma.

Symptoms for All Types of Mesothelioma

Since every individual is different, not all victims of this disease will experience the same symptoms of mesothelioma. However, studies have shown that most mesothelioma patients do have some early warning signs in common:

  • Anemia (a lower than normal amount of hemoglobin, or red blood cells)
  • Coughing up blood (called hemoptysis)
  • Rapid weight loss, especially if unexplained or unintended
  • Shortness of breath, which may gradually worsen
  • Symptoms similar to pneumonia, such as chest pain, persistent cough, etc.

Since these symptoms can be misdiagnosed as other illnesses, people who believe they may have been exposed to asbestos materials that can cause mesothelioma should be sure to inform their treating physician.

Symptoms for Specific Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can affect any part of the body, but it most frequently develops in one of three forms: pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in the abdomen; and pericardial mesothelioma, which forms on the heart. Of these, pleural mesothelioma is the most common, but since all three forms have the same cause, those who have been exposed should be vigilant if they experience any of the symptoms of mesothelioma related to the different types of asbestos cancer.

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Pain in the lower back or the side of the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lasting cough
  • Recurring fever

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating that does not ease, or steadily gets worse
  • Recurring nausea and vomiting

Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma

  • Chest pain (can be mild or severe)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Acute fatigue after exercise

What to Do If You Have Symptoms

Individuals who are experiencing one or more symptoms of mesothelioma should contact their doctor immediately. Regular screenings can help increase the chances of an early diagnosis and improve the outlook for mesothelioma victims. Those who may have been exposed to asbestos, whether at their place of work or at home from the clothes or belongings of a loved one who was exposed, should let their physicians know that they have a history of asbestos exposure. If symptoms of mesothelioma are appearing, it’s important not to wait. This disease can progress rapidly, and the earlier symptoms are recognized, the sooner mesothelioma treatments to slow down the tumor progression can begin.

If you have a history of prior exposure to asbestos make sure to educate yourself about the symptoms of mesothelioma, and make sure that your physicians are aware of your prior exposure. Mesothelioma is a serious disease, and there is no cure. The mesothelioma attorneys of Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason are experts in the highly specialized field of asbestos law. CPSM helps clients obtain the professional advice and financial compensation that they deserve. Please call today at 415-332-4262 to speak to an asbestos attorney directly who can help you understand and navigate the complex processes that result from asbestos exposure and what to do if diagnosed with mesothelioma.