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Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer and mesothelioma symptoms can be similar to many other diseases and ailments. Most people who are concerned about mesothelioma symptoms are those who worked around asbestos or who had a loved one die of an asbestos related disease such as asbestosis or mesothelioma. Thankfully, the frequency of mesothelioma is very small. About 2,000 cases occur each year in the United States, which makes it a very rare cancer.
There are a number of different symptoms associated with each type of mesothelioma. The symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to so many other diseases that only a proper work-up, including scans and perhaps a biopsy, can determine if the underlying cause of your symptoms is mesothelioma or something else. If you think you may have mesothelioma, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that he or she can order the appropriate tests.
What Are the Most Common Mesothelioma Symptoms?
Anyone who worked around asbestos will be concerned about being diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer or disease. The symptoms can vary and depend on the size and location of the cancer.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Pleural Mesothelioma symptoms may include:
- Dry Cough or Wheezing
- Pain in the Chest or Abdomen
- Pleural Effusions
- Shortness of Breath
- Respiratory Complications
- Night Sweats
Initial Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is found in the chest and the initial symptoms can include coughing, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Obviously these symptoms can be related to a number of different health issues. Therefore, it’s important to see your doctor and get a proper work-up to determine the actual cause.
Advanced Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
If pleural mesothelioma is more advanced, other symptoms may be experienced by the patient. The size of any tumors and whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) can play a role in these symptoms which may include:
- Coughing Up Blood
- Body Aches
- Blood Clotting Disorders
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Peritoneal Mesothelioma symptoms may include:
- Abdominal Distention
- Feeling of Fullness
- Abdominal Swelling / Tenderness
- Abdominal Fluid
- Loss of Appetite
Initial Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma involves the abdominal area and the initial symptoms may include weight loss, abdominal swelling and fatigue. These symptoms are also similar to other health problems. Therefore, if you are experiencing these problems it is important to see your licensed healthcare provider to find out what is going on.
Advanced Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
For peritoneal mesothelioma, a study published in 2007 found symptoms (both initial and advanced) to include:
- abdominal pain
- abdominal swelling
- less frequently night sweats
- hypercoagulability (abnormally increased tendency toward blood clotting)
- clinical presentation with fever of unknown origin
- intestinal obstruction
And a study from 2003 found, “Pain was the most common symptom (recorded in 33% of patients); increased abdominal girth occurred in 31%, increased abdominal girth and pain in 5%, and a new onset hernia in 12%.”
If you have mesothelioma symptoms ask your licensed healthcare provider about the possibility of this disease especially if you have had exposure to asbestos.