Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. The symptoms vary depending on the affected area of the body. And they differ from patient to patient as well. This cancer most often develops in the tissue that surrounds the lungs. But it also occurs in the tissue surrounding abdomen or heart. In rare cases, it affects tissue that surrounds testicles in men.
Have you ever been exposed to asbestos at work in your past? If so, you should be aware of the following 10 signs.
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- Shortness of breath
Both long-term breathing difficulty and sudden shortness of breath happen due to an issue with lungs. We all may get out of breath due to the excessive physical activity. That’s a normal occurrence. But, that could be a warning sign if shortness of breath comes all of a sudden. This is a good reason to visit your doctor and examine the cause of your breathlessness.
- Dry cough
Chronic dry cough is also a sign of malignant mesothelioma. Yet, many people ignore this symptom, especially the smokers. If a cough lasts for more than one month, make sure to consult your physician. X-ray clip will show if there is something on your lungs.
Extreme tiredness is a common sign of all types of cancers. Fatigue is a warning sign if it doesn’t result from physical or mental exertion.
Pain follows all types of mesothelioma. Most patients with pleural (lung) mesothelioma feel pain in the chest. Patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma have severe pain in the abdomen. Those with pericardial mesothelioma often experience heart palpitations along with chest pain. In most cases, pain is acute and increases over time.
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
This is one of the primary symptoms when it comes to the malignant mesothelioma. It is typical for pleural mesothelioma. Dysphagia is quite often linked to other mesothelioma symptoms. Those include chest pain, abnormal weight loss, malnutrition, and anorexia.
- Fever or night sweats
A high body temperature and fever are often attributed to an infection. In rare cases, they can result from malignant mesothelioma. Regardless the stage of the illness, patients may experience fever and night sweats. It is more common in third and fourth (last) stages of mesothelioma, though.
- Pleural effusion (fluid buildup)
Fluid effusion is a common symptom of pleural mesothelioma. Pleural effusion can affect either the pericardium or pleura. The excess fluid buildups create in the lining between the pericardium and lungs and chest cavity. The symptoms of fluid effusion include fatigue, rapid heartbeat, and breathlessness. It can also be accompanied with abdominal or chest pain.
- Unexplained weight loss
Weight loss, especially if it’s unexplained or sudden, is a warning sign. This is one of the major symptoms of peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma.
Nausea is a common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma. The patients feel sick, exhausted, and are inclined to vomit. This symptom occurs in other diseases as well, so it’s hard to determine the cause.
Palpitations and irregular heartbeat are specific to pericardial mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma cancer affects pericardium, i.e., the lining of the heart. Making only 1% of mesothelioma cases, pericardial mesothelioma is very rare. That means the chances you have this cancer are very small if you suffer from arrhythmia. Still, you shouldn’t ignore it.
You need to examine the cause if your body shows some signs of sickness. This is especially true if you have symptoms like abdominal or chest pain and difficulty breathing. These signs can point to a severe disease such as malignant mesothelioma.