What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Initial mesothelioma symptoms are typically mild but worsen as the cancer spreads.
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Blood in stool
- Bloody sputum
- Breathing problems
- Chronic cough
- Fluid buildup in the affected area
- Rib pain
- Shoulder pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Upper back pain
- Vomiting blood
Video Summary: Dennis, a victim of mesothelioma, talks about his journey from diagnosis to filing an asbestos claim. View Transcript.
The specialist called me one night at 5:30 and I thought, “this is odd time for them to be calling me.”
He said, “Dennis, I have the results for your test.”
And my reaction was, “Oh, good. What do you got?”
He didn’t speak for like five or seven seconds and I thought, “Oh my god, this is it.”
And he said, “The results from the biopsy are you have mesothelioma, you’ve been around asbestos.”
They determined I had peritoneal mesothelioma, that means it’s mostly in my stomach.
I asked her, “How long am I going to live, doctor?”
She told me, “I see five to ten years and I will hope for ten to fifteen.”
So I thought, “Oh my god, I just lose my dad three months earlier, now I got cancer.”
I had fun being a mechanic. The dust from brake jobs, yeah there’s a lot, especially in the hub of the wheel; got to get all the dust away so you can put in the new stuff.
I knew there was asbestos in it but I didn’t know it was harmful. I didn’t know it would cause cancer.
Do I call the attorneys? I didn’t know I would get these benefits. It’s helped complete our – make our living financially, we would have been in Hell in high water without these benefits.
I had a legal team on my side in two or three days I believe, and I was very comfortable.
They were real people and they came to my house. They treated me like a person, not a number. They took care of every step and they explained to me the steps that would be taken and as time went on, they needed to they would call me on the phone and let me know and it was a good experience.
If someone was diagnosed with mesothelioma, as I was. I would tell them, first of all, you need help like I did. We were given something we were never warned about, that asbestos was in the things we worked with.
They made it very personal for me in a good way. For my wife, and kids and my family, they really helped me and they treated me like a person.
Early mesothelioma symptoms are often mild, and most diagnoses are not made until after the cancer has spread. Additionally, these early symptoms may mimic symptoms of other, less common illnesses like pneumonia or the flu. The delay in diagnosis can worsen a patient’s health outlook (prognosis).
If you are experiencing these symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor and sharing with them your history of asbestos exposure.
Quick Facts About Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Most mesothelioma symptoms do not appear until after the cancer has already spread, according to the Moffitt Cancer Center.
- The American Cancer Society notes that most people with mesothelioma had symptoms for several months before being officially diagnosed.
- Doctors can treat mesothelioma symptoms with surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and techniques designed to manage pain.