Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms

It can take as much as 20 to 50 years or more for mesothelioma signs and symptoms to appear after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.[4]

Other peritoneal mesothelioma signs and symptoms include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.




These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.

Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:[4]

   Chest wall pain

   Pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung

   Shortness of breath

   Fatigue or anemia

   Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough

   Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (hemoptysis)

In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.

Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:

   Abdominal pain

   Ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen

   A mass in the abdomen

   Problems with bowel function

   Weight loss

In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:

   Blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis

   Disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs

   Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin

   Low blood sugar level

   Pleural effusion

   Pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs

   Severe ascites

A mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs. If you have ever been exposed to asbestos, please keep a list of these mesothelioma signs and symptoms.

What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Causes
Mesothelioma Signs and Symptoms
Mesothelioma Survival Rates

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