Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma patients may not demonstrate symptoms of the disease until 15 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos occurred.
Typically, the cancer has progressed to later developmental stages by the time symptoms surface and initial symptoms often resemble less serious illnesses such as the flu, bronchitis or pneumonia.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, and affects the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of the disease, and occurs in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. Symptoms are typically concentrated in the abdominal area, but may also affect other organs. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
Accounting for less than five percent of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases, pericardial mesothelioma attacks the pericardium, the lining that protects the heart. Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma may include:
Testicular mesothelioma is extremely rare, as approximately 100 cases have been reported over the last 50 years. The only known symptoms of testicular mesothelioma include testicular lumps, which may or may not be painful. ,
Those who worked with asbestos may wish to be aware of mesothelioma symptoms and should contact a doctor at the first sign of anything unusual. Visiting a doctor regularly and informing them of past asbestos exposure may aid in early detection of mesothelioma which may help provide greater treatment options to mesothelioma patients and improve prognosis. Please fill out the complimentary packet request form on this page for additional information about improving mesothelioma life expectancy.