Most people that develop mesothelioma are exposed on the job or by a loved one that worked with asbestos. Mesothelioma can be challenging to diagnose and is often not diagnosed until late stages because the symptoms are similar to symptoms of other, less-serious ailments.
The earlier that cancer is diagnosed, the more options you may have for treatment, so it’s important not to ignore symptoms of mesothelioma, particularly if you have a known history of exposure to asbestos.
Take a look at the most common mesothelioma symptoms
#1 Chronic cough
Chronic cough that won’t go away is never a good thing. A persistent cough can be symptomatic of a variety of illnesses but can also be one of the early signs of mesothelioma, particularly when combined with wheezing or coughing up blood – or other symptoms on the list below.
#2 Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is one of the two most common symptoms of mesothelioma along with chest pain. This symptom might come and go and will become worse as the illness progresses. This symptom is usually caused by pleural effusions (fluid build-up) around the lungs.
#3 Chest or abdominal pain
Chest pain under the ribcage can be another early sign of mesothelioma, but this can also be confused with symptoms of other conditions. The rare cancer can also impact tissue in the abdomen in cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, causing abdominal pain.
#4 Abdominal swelling and tenderness
Abdominal swelling can accompany the pain. With this type of cancer, your abdomen may be noticeably larger and tender to the touch and is one of the most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Nearly a third of patients with this form of mesothelioma experience this symptom.
#5 Difficulty swallowing
Also known as dysphagia, difficulty swallowing or pain while swallowing can be signs of mesothelioma. This symptom might also come with reflux, hoarseness, or the sensation of something stuck at the back of the throat. This and other symptoms should never be ignored.
#6 Unintentional weight loss
Unexplained weight loss is a symptom that nearly one-third of mesothelioma patients experience. A few pounds lost here and there might not be cause for concern, but more than a few pounds shed could be a symptom of mesothelioma or another serious illness.
#7 Unexplained sweating
Night sweats are a symptom of cancer that will often accompany other symptoms. Night sweats can come at any stage of mesothelioma but are seen most often in Stage III or Stage IV. This symptom can often accompany the next one on the list – fever.
Tumor growth in cancer can cause fever, as can infection, drug reaction, and inflammatory problems. If you have a fever that isn’t associated with a cold or another passing condition, it’s best not to ignore it. Fever can also be the cause of night sweats, as mentioned above.
Unexplained fatigue can be an early sign of mesothelioma. This type of fatigue may come and go and is not usually helped by more sleep. Fatigue is a sign of a wide array of medical conditions, some serious and some not, so it’s best to alert your physician if you have ongoing or recurrent fatigue.
#10 Fluid around the lungs
Also known as a pleural effusion, fluid around the lungs is a symptom that 90% of mesothelioma patients experience. This is the most common early sign of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, fluid in the lungs can also indicate other diseases, so it’s important to track all symptoms.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor and discuss what’s happening. If you have a history of exposure to asbestos or have worked in a high-risk industry for mesothelioma, that’s also something to tell your physician. With any cancer, early diagnosis is best to have more options for treatment.
Please contact Bergman Draper Oslund for a free case evaluation if you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The Bergman team has a track record of significant settlements and has won more than $700 million for victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Call (888) 647-6007 so we can fight for your rights, no matter where you live or how you were exposed to asbestos.