Monday, March 12, 2012

Symptoms That Help You Identify Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can only be identified with help of its symptoms which appear after 20-50 years the person has developed the disease. Symptoms of mesothelioma appear when you have been exposed to the deadly toxic asbestos decades back. By the time they appear, they have already spread to all parts of the body.

There are 3 major types of mesothelioma which attack the body with some similar symptoms. These types of mesothelioma along with their symptoms are:

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs and causes various symptoms. These symptoms include:


Difficulty sleeping


Pain at the side of the chest or the lower back

Pleural effusions (fluid in the chest cavity)

Progressive loss of appetite and weight loss



Trouble swallowing

Muscle weakness

Sensory loss


Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the lining of the lung and the chest cavity. It is one of most common symptoms of mesothelioma and leads to shortness of breath. As the fluid collects in the lining of the lungs and chest, the pain and shortness of breath also increase. Dyspnea is shortness of breath which can be caused by a pleural effusion and/or by the presence of a tumor in the pleura or the lining of the lungs.

A buildup of fluid in the pleural can create a feeling of fullness and pressure, causing areas of pain in the chest cavity and sometimes in the lower back area. Chest pain occurs more often on the right side of the body, as mesothelioma affects the right lung 60% of the time. Only 5% patients suffer from mesothelioma in both lungs.

In some cases, a patient may also have chronic hoarseness, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and/or the coughing up of blood (hemoptysis). These are the rare symptoms of mesothelioma and seen in less than 1% mesothelioma patients. If the patient also suffers from swelling of the face or neck areas, it means that the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The other type of mesothelioma is peritoneal which attacks the lining of the stomach or the abdominal cavity. It can cause symptoms like:

Belly Pain



Weight loss


Night sweats

Frequency of urination

Bowel obstruction

Abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen also known as ascites is one of the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. If there is a tumor in the peritoneum membrane, it can put increasing pressure on the organs in the abdomen, leading to bowel obstruction and distention.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

The third type of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma which attacks the lining of the chest cavity. It is not a common type of cancer. It can cause symptoms like:

Heart palpitations

Chest pains

Shortness of breath

Persistent cough

Weight loss

Irregular heartbeat

Pericardial effusion may also occur in pericardial mesothelioma. It is the accumulation of liquid in the lining of the chest cavity which may cause difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. The patient may also complain of irregular heartbeat which is caused due to liquid accumulation in the chest. Persistent cough along with blood may also occur. Pericardial mesothelioma can also lead to lung cancer.

Some of these symptoms can help you identify mesothelioma. Some patients show no symptoms of their mesothelioma which makes it more difficult to diagnose. The exact symptoms will often depend on the area where mesothelioma affects which will help you identify mesothelioma.

For more information on mesothelioma lawyers, mesothelioma in different regions and help, check out:

A writer working on a mesothelioma site

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