Mesothelioma symptoms are different depending on which type of the disease a patient has developed. The two most common forms of the disease are pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining around the lungs, and peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the abdominal tissues.
The symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to those of a variety of other maladies, which can make it difficult for a doctor to properly diagnose the disease. Mesothelioma may be indicated by experiencing just one of several possible symptoms, which makes it important for patients with a history of asbestos exposure to be as proactive about diagnosis as possible. It’s important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of either pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma to seek a professional opinion right away.
Pleural mesothelioma symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Weakness or general fatigue
- Coughing up of a pink or bloody substance
- Weight loss
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Swelling or increased abdominal mass
- Weight loss
- Bowel obstruction
The only way to acquire a certain mesothelioma diagnosis is through performing a biopsy, which is the investigation of a surgically removed tissue sample with specialized equipment. Various medical imaging techniques can also be useful to locate tumors and learn more about their growth patterns and immediate implications.
Patients who have been exposed to asbestos, regardless of how long ago it may have been, should discuss their asbestos history with their doctors immediately. Without knowing about a patient’s exposure to asbestos, doctors can easily misdiagnose mesothelioma patients and lose valuable time attempting to understand their health problems. An early diagnosis can improve the efficacy of the treatment process and give patients more time to come to terms with their circumstances.