What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn about the mesothelioma claims process. To learn what are the symptoms of mesothelioma, keep reading. 

Mesothelioma is cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. The fibers can then enter the bloodstream and travel to other organs, where they develop into tumors.  Symptoms of mesothelioma cancer can be challenging to detect in the beginning stages because they are common with other conditions.

The most common symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • Coughing up blood

These and other symptoms may occur when the disease spreads outside the chest cavity and into other body parts.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is best defined by the body part it affects. In this section, we will go over the different types of mesothelioma.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma cancer affects the tissue around the lungs. The most common symptom is shortness of breath. This tumor typically grows on the outer surfaces of the lungs, right next to other structures such as the diaphragm, ribs, and chest wall.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A rare type of mesothelioma that affects the tissue around the abdomen.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

A cancer type that affects the heart lining tissue is called the pericardium. It is a sporadic disease with symptoms such as thickening of the pericardium, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively.

Testicular Mesothelioma

A rare mesothelioma cancer that is easily mistaken for other testicular illnesses such as epididymitis, causing inflammation of the testicles. This accounts for only 1% of all mesothelioma cancer diagnoses.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma illness usually starts in the chest cavity but can also start in the abdominal cavity or surrounding the heart. There are many causes and risk factors that we will cover below.  Working with Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is composed of tiny fibers. Asbestos has been mined and utilized extensively because of its resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals and because it does not carry electricity.

The mineral fibers may be breathed in or ingested if discharged into the air during production, causing major health concerns. Asbestos exposure at work has been related to as many as 75% of mesothelioma cases.

There's also evidence that living with asbestos workers puts family members at risk for mesothelioma. The asbestos dust was transported home by workers. People who live near asbestos mines have also been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn about the mesothelioma claims process. To learn what are the symptoms of mesothelioma, keep reading. 

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary widely depending on the particular area of cancer. This section of the article will highlight different symptoms of mesothelioma from different types of illness.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma:

  • Pain while coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue are seen popping on the skin around the chest
  • Fever
  • Reduced chest expansion
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of the face and arms

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal fluid build-up

Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmurs
  • Dyspnea or difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Arrhythmia.

Symptoms of testicular mesothelioma:

  • Lump in the scrotum
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Hydrocele
  • Enflamed testes

It is imperative to note that mesothelioma may manifest in any other body part, but one immediate sign is swelling or a mass around the area. When mesothelioma symptoms occur, visit a doctor as soon as possible to determine if you are affected by an asbestos-related illness. However, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, it is essential to note that some signs and symptoms may not mean one has this illness. Ask for an evaluation of symptoms and openly acknowledge if you have had any asbestos exposure.

What are the Complications of Mesothelioma?

Complications are the unforeseen side effects caused by an illness, a procedure, therapy, or a combination of these factors. Individuals suffering from mesothelioma risk complications and side effects of treatment. Speaking with a physician and being informed of possible complications might help patients feel more prepared. Complications often focus on a particular location or ailment, depending on the treatment plan.

Respiratory Complications

Complications around the respiratory system are the most common for mesothelioma patients. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common, accounting for 85% of all diagnoses. Respiratory difficulties are common in mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma experts are better acquainted with the disease's symptoms and respiratory difficulties than standard oncologists and may spot possible problems sooner.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a debilitating complication of pleural mesothelioma. The condition prevents those affected from completing routine tasks and can lead to complications such as pneumonia. The most prevalent cause is tumor development on the pleural lining, which surrounds the lungs and prevents them from taking complete breaths.

Causes of acute shortness of breath when suffering from pleural mesothelioma include:

Collapsed Lung

A pneumothorax, or entirely collapsed lung, is caused by a build-up of air outside the lung in the chest cavity. Although this is an uncommon complication for mesothelioma patients, it is possible. It may also arise following pleural fluid drainage or a pleural biopsy.

Pericardial Effusion

Pericardial effusion is the presence of fluid in the space between the heart and the inner membrane called the pericardium. It is a common complication of mesothelioma. Because it has no symptoms, it is essential to identify its complications as soon as possible. Pericardial effusion can be solved with a surgical procedure.

Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion is a common complication of mesothelioma. The fluid accumulation leads to shortness of breath and chest tightness and can also cause pulmonary embolism with blood clots in the lungs.

Respiratory Distress

Individuals with mesothelioma are often at higher risk for developing respiratory distress. This is due to how mesothelioma affects the lungs. Cancer causes the lining of the lungs to become inflamed and eventually scar. Scarring of lung tissue can cause breathing difficulties, including shortness of breath and chest pain.

Rounded Atelectasis

Rounded atelectasis is a complication of mesothelioma. This occurs when the lung collapses and does not fully re-inflate. It is caused by the cancerous tumor pressing on the pleura, which prevents the lungs from expanding to their total capacity.

There are two types of rounded atelectasis: closed and open. Closed atelectasis is when no air is exchanged in or out of the lung. While open atelectasis has some air exchange. The symptoms for both types are similar, but in closed atelectasis, patients will have a faster disease progression than those with open.

Complications Arising from Treatment

A mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person. However, the treatment for mesothelioma is complicated. The goal of treatment is to remove the malignant cells causing symptoms. Treatment methods depend on the stage of the disease and can range from surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or some combination of these methods.

Complications from Surgery

Surgery with this cancer can lead to complications. To choose the appropriate course of therapy, physicians will consider the patient's age, health, kind of mesothelioma, and prognosis. However, there are situations when some operations are inevitable and may result in patient difficulties.

Some of the possible complications include:

Some but not all of the complications of surgery are below. If you have any of these, please reach a doctor right away.

  • Lung collapse
  • Mediastinal shift
  • Pulmonary embolus
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Hemothorax
  • Chest wall pain
  • Bronchial air leak
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Complications from Chemotherapy:

Some but not all of the complications of chemo are below. If you have any of these, please reach a doctor right away.

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Pneumonitis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Myelosuppression leading to anemia

Complications from Radiation:

Some but not all of the complications of radiation complications are below. If you have any of these, please reach a doctor right away.

  • Skin irritation
  • Chronic radiation
  • Radiation pneumonitis

Mesothelioma is painful and deadly. If you have mesothelioma, you are not alone. There are support groups, caregivers, and legal teams to advocate for you and your family. Nobody should have suffered this terrible disease, so there's help. Whether you or someone you love, you have many options to cover your medical bills and more. Our passion is getting you the compensation to which you and your loved ones have a right.

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn about the mesothelioma claims process. To learn what are the symptoms of mesothelioma, keep reading. 


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