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Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer directly related to asbestos exposure.  Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection can help slow the progression of the disease and prolong the life of its victim.  Unfortunately, mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed in its early stages, or ignored all together.

Early warning signs of mesothelioma include fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains, which are common for many other, less serious conditions.  Physicians can sometimes mistake these symptoms for those of asthma or COPD, and patients often assume that their symptoms are related to these conditions and delay seeing their doctor.  The attorneys at the Philadelphia mesothelioma law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown and Sandler are all too familiar with the devastating effects of mesothelioma and know how valuable early detection can be.

Four Types of Mesothelioma Cause Varying Symptoms

There are four types of mesothelioma, each with its own set of symptoms.  All are directly related to asbestos exposure from direct or second-hand sources.  Because the dormancy period can span decades, symptoms relating to asbestos-related disease can go unattended.   Though symptoms can vary among the types of mesothelioma, some are common to all forms of the cancer.

Pleural MesotheliomaThis is the most common type of mesothelioma.  The cancerous cells are found in the pleural membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest wall and diaphragm.  The most common symptoms of this type of mesothelioma include:

  • Persistent dry or raspy cough
  • Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Pain in the lower back or rib area
  • Painful breathing
  • Development of lumps under the skin on the chest
  • Difficulty with swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Night sweats or fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

Peritoneal MesotheliomaThis type of mesothelioma is less common than pleural mesothelioma, but still accounts for 20-30% of all new cases of the disease.  Peritoneal mesothelioma cells can be found in the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds and supports the digestive organs.  Symptoms of this type of mesothelioma include:

  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Changes in bowel habits (such as diarrhea or constipation)
  • Development of lumps under the skin on the abdomen
  • Night sweats or fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia

Pericardial MesotheliomaThis type of mesothelioma affects the pericardial membrane that surrounds the heart.  This form of mesothelioma is not common, and is very difficult to diagnose.  Symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Chest pain
  • Murmurs
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing, even when at rest (dyspnea)
  • Orthopnea (dyspnea which occurs when lying down)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or night sweats

Testicular Mesothelioma:  Testicular mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the testicles and is very rare.  Less than 100 cases have been reported worldwide.  Diagnosis can be difficult, but treatments available for this type of mesothelioma provide the best prognosis.  Symptoms are limited and include a change in appearance of the testicles, scrotal swelling, and lumps on or within the testicle.  These symptoms combined with a history of asbestos exposure lead to a biopsy and official diagnosis.

Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler – Legal Help for Victims of Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call us to schedule a consultation.  Our mesothelioma law firm serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and is conveniently located in the heart of Philadelphia.  Call us today at 800-369-0899, or contact us online for more information.

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