Early signs of pleural mesothelioma may look like other respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia or flu, chest pain, shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, reduced chest expansion (difficulty breathing), unexplained weight loss. Amy Fair, a nurse with more than 20 years of experience in mesothelioma, explains the symptoms that victims exposed to asbestos see. Stages 1 and 2 are considered early-stage mesothelioma, and treatment focuses on slowing cancer growth and improving life expectancy. Stages 3-4 are considered late-stage mesothelioma, and there may be no life-prolonging treatment options due to the extent of cancer growth.
Symptoms of mesothelioma are often misdiagnosed as more common conditions. Symptoms of mesothelioma include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain or abdominal pain, and fluid buildup. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest pain and shortness of breath. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain and bloating.
Asbestos exposure symptoms take years to develop, making early detection difficult. Early signs of mesothelioma are particularly difficult to detect, since they are mild. People usually ignore symptoms or attribute them to more common conditions. Studies have shown early warning signs of chest or abdominal pain and fluid buildup.
Fluid buildup is known as pleural effusion or peritoneal effusion, depending on the location of the cancer. Fluid buildup often presents as swelling or bloating. For example, chemotherapy can reduce the size of a pleural mesothelioma tumor. This can reduce pressure in the lungs, improve coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain.
Surgery can remove a peritoneal mesothelioma tumor. This can reduce pressure on the organs throughout the abdomen, improving abdominal pain, intestinal obstruction and bloating. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs. The signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are not clear, since these forms of the disease are very rare.
Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pains. See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that worry you. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are not specific to mesothelioma and, because of the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to evaluate them.
Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the location of the cancer. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Signs of peritoneal mesothelioma include bloating, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Medical care can help you manage symptoms of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma has many symptoms that vary depending on the location, stage, and cell type of mesothelioma. Symptoms of mesothelioma usually appear 10 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos (the only known cause of this cancer). Anyone who inhales or swallows asbestos fibers can develop mesothelioma and suffer from cancer symptoms later in life.
Military veterans who served between the 1930s and early 1980s are at increased risk for mesothelioma. The military relied heavily on asbestos during this time, as manufacturers concealed the risks. Fortunately, medical care from mesothelioma specialists or across the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System Can Help Patients Relieve Symptoms and Live Longer.
Get a free veteran's package to learn how you can manage symptoms of malignant mesothelioma. The first signs of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer develops. Early warning signs of pleural mesothelioma (which forms in the lining of the lung) include shortness of breath and dry cough. Bloating (swelling of the stomach) is usually the first symptom reported by patients with peritoneal mesothelioma (which forms in the lining of the abdomen).
If you were ever exposed to asbestos or had family members who worked with asbestos products, you could be at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis. It is essential to act quickly if you notice any unusual symptoms and have them reviewed by a local oncologist or mesothelioma specialist. The sooner you are diagnosed, the more likely you are to get infected before it spreads. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs (pleura).
Patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma have symptoms related to breathing. Pleural mesothelioma is the only form of mesothelioma that is classified into four stages according to the degree of spread. Patients with early-stage pleural mesothelioma have mild symptoms, and some may not experience any symptoms. In later stages, more severe symptoms (such as coughing up blood) often occur.
Many people mistakenly think that pleural mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer, but it actually develops in the delicate lining that surrounds the lungs and not in the lungs themselves. However, the symptoms of malignant mesothelioma have some similarities with lung cancer. Common symptoms of mesothelioma and lung cancer include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and weight loss, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms unique to lung cancer include bone pain and headache.
Do you or a loved one have symptoms of mesothelioma? Chat now with our trusted advocates for next steps. The most commonly reported symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are abdominal distension and pain, which occur in almost half of all patients. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma worsen as the cancer spreads, at which point more symptoms may also appear. Pericardial mesothelioma is very rare and forms in the lining of the heart (pericardium), causing symptoms that mainly affect the heart and chest.
Most of these symptoms occur when fluids press on the heart or when tumors spread throughout the body. Testicular mesothelioma is the rarest form of this cancer and develops in the lining of the testicles (tunica vagina). Symptoms and signs of testicular mesothelioma may not appear until tumors have spread. There are four stages of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
In later stages, cancer has spread throughout the body and symptoms are more evident. Pleural mesothelioma is the only type of mesothelioma that is classified by stage. The other types are classified as localized or advanced depending on the spread of the cancer. In cases of early-stage mesothelioma (stage 1 and stage), symptoms may be nonexistent or mild.
Unfortunately, many patients do not recognize these early symptoms as signs of cancer. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are usually evident in the later stages of cancer (stage 3 and stage). At this point, cancer has spread through the lymph nodes to distant parts of the body. A proper diagnosis of cancer is key to relieving symptoms of malignant mesothelioma.
By receiving a correct diagnosis, you can seek medical treatments that give you the best chance of surviving longer with fewer symptoms. The symptoms of mesothelioma are usually vague, so they could be misdiagnosed as more common illnesses, such as the flu or pneumonia at first. Therefore, doctors should perform a series of tests when making a diagnosis of mesothelioma to rule out other diseases. Doctors diagnose mesothelioma by performing imaging scans that look inside the patient's body for abnormalities that may be causing symptoms.
If a tumor or mass is discovered that is suspected of being cancerous, the doctor should perform a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a small sample of tissue or fluid to check for cancer cells. Biopsies are the only way to officially confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Delayed or incorrect diagnosis can allow cancer to spread and worsen.
It is essential to have all necessary tests done quickly and even seek a second opinion from another doctor to avoid misdiagnosis. Our veterans advocates can answer questions you have about mesothelioma symptoms and how they are diagnosed. After confirming the diagnosis, doctors will recommend a mesothelioma treatment plan to help patients manage symptoms and live longer. In addition, patients with mesothelioma can go to clinical trials to access new treatments that may relieve symptoms.
Palliative treatment (for pain relief) is generally recommended for late-stage patients with severe symptoms of mesothelioma. Palliative care can relieve symptoms of mesothelioma when life-prolonging treatment is not possible. More information on palliative treatments by type of mesothelioma below. Patients suffering from symptoms of mesothelioma can ask their care team how palliative treatments can help.
Veterans can be treated for mesothelioma symptoms at both private cancer centers and VA cancer centers. The VA healthcare system works with many of the best and most prestigious doctors in the country. These experts in the treatment of mesothelioma can recommend the best treatments for each veteran to manage the symptoms of mesothelioma and help them live longer. Talk to our trusted advocates to learn more about the mesothelioma specialist in your state.
Lebenthal Treats Veterans With Mesothelioma at the VA Boston Health Care System. Leventhal is a military veteran of the Israeli army and understands the unique challenges faced by veterans. Cameron treats veterans outside of West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and has more than 20 years of experience treating pleural mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is not affiliated with or endorsed or sponsored by any of the doctors listed above.
The above contact information is included for information purposes only. You have the right to contact these doctors directly. Symptoms of mesothelioma can be distressing, but can be relieved with proper medical care. If you or a loved one has possible symptoms of mesothelioma, contact our team to help you take the next steps.
Contact the Mesothelioma Veterans Center at (87) 450-8973 or chat to get started. It can take 10 to 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to asbestos. Asbestos fibers take decades to cause mutations in healthy cells. This period of time between exposure and symptoms is called the latency period.
Although mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, it spreads quickly once symptoms appear. The symptoms of mesothelioma may not be noticed at first, but they may worsen over time as the cancer spreads. Patients with late-stage mesothelioma often suffer from painful symptoms. Fortunately, treatments can help patients manage mesothelioma symptoms and live longer.
The American Cancer Society recommends getting medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms of mesothelioma develop. If you wait too long, symptoms may worsen and cancer may spread. Getting an early diagnosis of mesothelioma is vital to live longer and with fewer symptoms. Veterans who know they were exposed to asbestos should be screened regularly for cancer, even if they don't have symptoms of mesothelioma.
Screening tests can help detect mesothelioma before symptoms appear or before the cancer has time to spread. Even if the symptoms of mesothelioma are very mild, see a doctor immediately. Early detection of this cancer often means more treatment options will be available. Tell your doctor if you have ever been exposed to asbestos in the past.
Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, so doctors can use this information to rule out more common diseases with similar symptoms. Talk now to find doctors who can diagnose and treat symptoms of mesothelioma. Board-Certified Dual Oncologist and Hematologist Todd Gersten, MD is a board-certified dual medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in general adult oncology and hematologic diseases. He is a physician partner of Florida Cancer Specialists and practices in Wellington, Florida.
Todd Gersten is an independently paid medical reviewer. Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Association of Medical Writers (AMWA). As a grandson of the United States, S. Navy's First Forensic Pathologist Aims to Help Veterans With Mesothelioma Access Needed Care.
Mesothelioma Veterans Center Offers Free Support to Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma and Their Families. Whether you need help with VA benefits, treatments or legal options, our VA accredited claims agents are here to help. Mesothelioma is a fatal disease related to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a natural mineral that is carcinogenic to humans, meaning it causes cancer.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos throughout their lives. Although asbestos fibers can adhere to the lining of organs immediately after someone inhales or swallows them, it can take 10 to 50 years for signs of mesothelioma to appear due to the long latency period of asbestos. Symptoms and signs of pleural mesothelioma are similar to those that occur with less severe respiratory and other diseases, making diagnosis difficult.
Mesothelioma tumors begin as small nodules in the pleura (lining of the lungs) and peritoneum (lining of the abdomen), but cancer does not cause symptoms until the tumors have grown and spread; early signs of mesothelioma are difficult to recognize because cancer does not produce any early symptoms identify. Some doctors recommend that patients with a known history of exposure to asbestos undergo regular imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans (CT scans) to check for any signs of cancer early on. Malignant mesothelioma is a very aggressive and painful cancer, with symptoms and signs of mesothelioma that vary from patient to patient and with the area of the body affected. Common warning signs of peritoneal mesothelioma include buildup of abdominal fluid, bloating, weight loss, nausea and vomiting.
One of the most common early signs of pleural mesothelioma is persistent coughing, especially dry cough. Depending on the location of the disease, doctors may confuse the symptoms of mesothelioma with signs of less serious conditions. Knowing the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can help you quickly recognize any abnormalities and get tested. Patients with early-stage (stage 1) pleural mesothelioma often have vague symptoms that mimic signs of more common and less serious diseases.
However, knowing how to detect the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can help you receive an earlier diagnosis, the best treatment options, and a better prognosis. . .