Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma symptoms depend on a patient’s cancer stage and type of mesothelioma.
Most symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the lungs, affect the lungs and chest. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the abdomen, primarily impact the stomach.
That said, some mesothelioma symptoms are consistent for the majority of patients — regardless of their cancer type or stage.
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Breathing problems
- Chronic cough
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
Video Summary: Amy Fair, a nurse with over 20 years of mesothelioma experience, explains the symptoms that victims exposed to asbestos watch for. View Transcript.
Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma at first, and the reason people delay treatment, is it can be something that mimics a cold. You know it can be a small fever, it can be chills, it can be shortness of breath, a minor cough. This is also followed sometimes by substantial weight loss.
Of concern is when those develop into severe fatigue, severe cough and someone then develops something called a pleural effusion, where they’re getting fluid in the lung, which usually warrants them to seek more extensive medical treatment.
An unresolved cough or an unresolved episode of shortness of breath, fever, chills, weight loss, should warrant someone to seek further testing and treatment by their physician.
The symptoms of mesothelioma, with the pleural mesothelioma, start many times with shortness of breath, fatigue, extreme weight loss, chest pain.
The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma that attacks the abdomen, mainly is ascites, which is fluid in the abdomen, abdominal distension, vomiting, some constipation if there’s blockages.
Pericardial Mesothelioma, some of the symptoms can be, again, chest pain, shortness of breath, sometimes a condition called Atrial Fibrillation where the heart is not beating appropriately because of the constricting disease in the lining of the heart.
If you feel like you’re not getting better, this is something new for you, it’s certainly best to encourage your doctor to proceed with more testing.
Is Mesothelioma Painful?
In the earlier stages of mesothelioma, you may experience mild pain and discomfort and little to no symptoms. However, symptoms typically become more painful as the cancer spreads into bones, nerves, and other body parts.
Your doctor may recommend various forms of palliative care to help you manage your pain.