Mesothelioma being a rare form of cancer has very high latency period, which indicates that the development of the disease usually takes several years of exposure to asbestos. Patients who are under asbestos will not observe any symptoms till several decades of exposure to asbestos. Since the symptoms of mesothelioma are common to other less serious diseases, lots of patients do not realize the presence of this disease and ignore these symptoms. There are 3 different categories of mesothelioma – pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma and each category has its own symptoms.
Pleural Mesothelioma symptoms
It is the most common category of mesothelioma which affects the pleural lining between the lungs. The common symptoms of this form of cancer include,
1. Painful breathing
2. Continuous Chronic cough
3. Fever and Night sweats
4. Unanticipated Weight loss
6. Blood spill during cough
7. Difficulty in swallowing food
Patients having this cancer also develop lumps of skin below their chest. The disease symptoms usually develop due to thickening of pleural lining that happens because of fluid build-up between the membrane layers. Accumulation of fluid and pleural thickening results in pressure on lungs, which reduces the breathing capacity of lungs and causes other respiratory problems.
Peritoneal mesothelioma Symptoms:
Another category of this cancer is peritoneal mesothelioma which develops in abdominal region of the body. Around thirty percent of cases of mesothelioma have been reported to be peritoneal mesothelioma. The symptoms of this form of cancer include,
1. Pain and swelling in abdomen
2. Variation in bowel habits
3. Vomiting and Nausea
4. Fatigues and unexplained weight loss
5. Lumps of skin below abdomen
7. Fever and night sweats etc.
The symptoms occur because of thickening of peritoneal membrane which is important for movement of organs inside abdominal cavity. It is due to accumulation of fluid between the layers of this membrane which causes pressure on abdomen and organs inside it.
Pericardial Mesothelioma symptoms:
It is the rarest form of cancer among the three types and occurs in very less percentage. Pericardial mesothelioma infects the regions surrounding heart and is highly dangerous. The symptoms include,
2. Pain in chest
3. Breathing trouble
4. Heart Palpitations
5. Night sweats
It is very difficult to diagnose this disease and the prognosis is very poor. Patients who have exposure to asbestos on continuous basis should always seek medical attention and get themselves diagnosed for this dangerous disease as early as possible when they observe any of the above mentioned symptoms.