The Symptoms of Mesothelioma

The Symptoms of Mesothelioma

As was stated previously, symptoms of mesothelioma can vary, but the most common general symptoms are:

* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
* Coughing
* Pain in chest or abdomen
* Fluid in the chest, lungs, or abdomen
* Weight loss
* Loss of appetite
* Inability to sleep
* Husky voice
* Difficulty swallowing

It is the first two symptoms that generally bring a patient to the doctor's office. Both difficulty breathing and persistent coughing are caused by the lung's inability to expand properly due to tumors in the pleural region. The growing tumors cause the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum to expand, thus allow fluid to enter. That generally causes pain - acute to severe - in the affected regions, such as the chest or abdomen. Breathing difficulties also make it hard to sleep and often result in loss of appetite and, eventually, weight loss.

Depending on the type of mesothelioma diagnosed - pleural, pericardial, or peritoneal - symptoms might vary from the above, which pertain mostly to pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the disease.

Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma might include:

* Abdominal pain, acute to severe
* Swelling of the abdominal region due to fluid accumulation
* Breathing difficulties
* Loss of appetite resulting in weight loss
* Bowel obstruction
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Weakness
* Fever
* Anemia

Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma might include:

* Chest pain, ranging from uncomfortable to severe
* Shortness of breath
* Heart palpitations
* Persistent coughing
* Extreme fatigue after minimal activity or exertion

Because the three types of the disease are similar but centered in different parts of the body, the patient is likely to have symptoms that overlap. For example, nearly all meso patients suffer from shortness of breath and fatigue, but the pain may be more apparent in the abdominal/stomach area for peritoneal patients and in the chest for those with pleural or pericardial mesothelioma.

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