What do you mean? Is there a bunch of signs and indications which clarifies that a person has mesothelioma?
The answer is YES. Read along till the end to get to know more about this auspicious topic, which can save your life too. Maybe!
As of now, we all know that Asbestos Exposure is the only cause of Mesothelioma cancer.
Now the question comes in almost every mind is “When would you get to know that you are exposed to asbestos and are having mesothelioma?”
In order to answer this question, we have researched a lot and are now come with a very powerful answer.
Yes, you are right. There are a lot of signs and symptoms which indicates that you are exposed to asbestos and have mesothelioma. These are basically known as Mesothelioma Symptoms.
These mesothelioma symptoms generally take a lot of time to show up. I mean that a person who is exposed to asbestos which observes the symptoms in himself after 30-40 years.
This clears the fact that Mesothelioma symptoms basically take 30-40 years or even more to show up and indicate cancer.
Talking about the symptoms, they are very similar to that of normal flu and disease we all experience. Most of the major symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are very similar to that of common cold.
Symptoms like chest pain, muscular weakness, fatigue etc are those symptoms which we experience in our daily life. Sometimes, these common symptoms make it tough to diagnose.
In this blog post, we will discuss symptoms of mesothelioma cancer, and everything related to it. I will also classify the symptoms on the basis of stage of cancer, and the type of mesothelioma cancer.
So, stick with this long and detailed blog post to gain the best knowledge about mesothelioma symptoms.
And yes this is a 2000+ word blog post, so settle down, get your favorite snacks, and read the article till the end.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma?
In this section, we will talk about the basic symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. (As you have guessed by the heading).
Whenever it comes to symptoms of any disease or cancer, we think about the sudden changes and signs which shows that the person is a victim of that disease/cancer.
But with mesothelioma cancer, the symptoms do not show up initially.
Yes, you read it right. If you are exposed to asbestos, the symptoms do not show up in its initial stage.
Rather it takes a long time. Approximately, 40-50 years.
Let me tell you why this happens.
Suppose you are exposed to asbestos in your teenage days. Let it be 18 years of age. So, the thin fibers entered your body at 18. But those fibers are not that developed and doesn’t harm the victim.
After some years, those fibers settle on the inner linings of your lungs, heart or abdomen cavity. These fibers grow by time and cause tumors in the affected region.
Suppose, now you reach the age of 35. Now the tumors are growing but are still as small as tiny nodules. They are that small they aren’t even able to spread in the adjacent surroundings.
Now when you reach the age of 60, these tumors are about fully grown and causes problems. This happens because those tumors grew a lot and press the inner lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity. Problems similar to choking throat, shortness of breath are observed.
By the time, cancer has spread a lot and are termed to reach stage 3 or stage 4 mesothelioma cancer.
Symptoms of mesothelioma cancer appear when cancer had achieved a great level. It is difficult to save the victim in stage 3 and stage 4. Treatment options like chemotherapy and multi-modal operations like HIPEC can only save the victim.
If the symptoms are recognized at an early stage of cancer, it is easy and proficient to save the victim. Thus, it is advised from our side, to get a checkup every time you recognize these minor symptoms. Maybe it can save your life. And if it is too late, only the Almighty can save you then.
The most common sign and symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are:
- Dryness in cough
- Short Breath
- Nasal Problems
- Fever with night sweats
- Pleural Effusion
- Torment and Pain
Reports observe that almost 90% of the early stage recognition of mesothelioma symptoms are basically by accident.
Suppose you went to your doctor to get a report of your blood test or X-Ray and found that you have minor cancer tumors on the inner linings of your lungs or Heart.
In the United States, over 90% of the early identification of mesothelioma symptoms happens this way (basically by accident).
Another most common early recognition of mesothelioma symptoms are while consultation with doctors. Let me tell you how.
Suppose you went to your doctor and the doctor randomly asked about any past about asbestos exposure. And you came to know that the place where your father used to work was highly exposed to asbestos. Hence, you were exposed to asbestos by secondary means (by your father).
This leads to early recognition of cancer tumors on your lungs or heart. Then you get diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and won the battle against mesothelioma. WOOHOO…
Symptoms According to Stage of Mesothelioma
There more than a dozen of mesothelioma symptoms. Some of them are minor while others are major too.
By the time, we know that the symptoms show up in the victim’s body after a very long time.
But sometimes the symptoms we identify the symptoms in less time. we have discussed earlier how this happens.
Thus, these symptoms are classified regarding the stage of cancer. This makes it easier to navigate and execute whether you have cancer and at what stage your cancer is.
So specialists classify the identifications into two major classes regarding the stage of cancer.
1. Early Stage
In the early stage, the tumors are not grown to the level they choke you. They are in the primary stage and are not grown enough.
The manifestations and signs in the early stages are common and resemble symptoms of various common diseases like flu, cold, etc.
The most noticeable symptoms in the early stage of cancer are:
- Dryness while coughing
- General Respiratory Problems
- Pain in the chest while inhaling
- A small amount of Pleural Effusion
- Dyspnea (Shortness of Breath)
2. Late Stage
In the late stage of cancer, the tumors are well developed and are advanced.
The tumors are often spread to all the nearby regions of the affected body part. By this stage, the tumors can obstruct the affected region and can cause major problems.
The symptoms of late-stage are very advance. Alike early stage symptoms are like various common diseases which we experience in our day-to-day life.
The most noticeable identifications in the late stage of cancer are:
- A large amount of pain in the affected region
- Weight Loss
- Loss of appetite
- Advanced Breathing Problems
- Problems while swallowing
- Obstructions during inhaling
Symptoms According to Type of Mesothelioma
The symptoms of mesothelioma vary with the type of mesothelioma cancer.
This is because the different types of mesothelioma have their respective area of affection.
In the case of Pleural mesothelioma, the affected area is Lungs while with Peritoneal mesothelioma, it is the abdominal cavity which gets affected.
Similarly, with Pericardial cancer, the area of affection is your heart and in testicular mesothelioma, the affected area is your testes.
Because of the variation in the affected area, the signs and identifications also vary.
Thus, the specialist has classified the symptoms based on the type of cancer.
So, depending upon the type of cancer, we have –
- Pleural Symptoms
- Peritoneal Symptoms
- Pericardial Symptoms
- Testicular Symptoms
We will discuss each type in detail now.
1. Pleural Symptoms
Pleural Mesothelioma occurs when the tumors emerge on the inner linings of the lungs.
In this type of mesothelioma cancer, the affected area is a thin lining of lungs named Pleura.
About 75% of the total mesothelioma cases come under the pleural mesothelioma. This is the most common type of mesothelioma cancer.
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include the manifestations and signs related to its area of affection, which is Lungs.
The symptoms are very similar to that of common diseases like Flu, common cold, etc.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma are –
- Heavy Breathing
- Dryness in Cough
- Pleural Effusions
- Body Pain
- Chest Pain
- Disorders in Blood Clotting
- Blood while coughing
- Short Breath
- Expansion of chest
- Unusual breathing sounds.
2. Peritoneal Symptoms
Peritoneal Mesothelioma occurs when the tumors emerge on the inner linings of the abdominal cavity.
In this type of mesothelioma cancer, the affected area is the inner lining of the abdomen.
A major proportion of the total mesothelioma cases comes under the peritoneal mesothelioma. This is also one of the most common types of mesothelioma cancer.
The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include the manifestations and signs related to its area of affection, which is the Abdominal Cavity.
The treatment options available for peritoneal mesothelioma include chemotherapy and multi-modal therapy like HIPEC.
The symptoms are very similar to that of common diseases like Stomach-ache, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma are –
- Loss of Appetite
- Loss of Weight
- Obstructions while inhaling
- Swelling of the abdominal cavity
- Abdominal Displacement
- Diarrhea and Constipation
3. Pericardial Symptoms
Pericardial type of Mesothelioma occurs when the tumors emerge on the inner linings of the Heart.
In this type of mesothelioma cancer, the affected area is the inner lining of the Heart.
The total number of mesothelioma cases which comes under pericardial mesothelioma is very less and ranges to about 5% of the total cases.
This type of cancer is very rare.
The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are very different from other symptoms. It includes the manifestations and signs related to its area of affection, which is your Heart.
The only treatment option to save the victim is by Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy. And, yes your prayers can save him/her too.
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma are –
- Problems while breathing
- Increased Heartbeat
- Sounds while breathing
- Night Sweats & Fever
- Chest Pain
4. Testicular Symptoms
Testicular type of Mesothelioma occurs when the tumors emerge on the Testes.
In this type of mesothelioma cancer, the affected area is the inner lining of the scrotum.
The total number of mesothelioma cases which comes under testicular mesothelioma is less to zero and ranges to about 1% of the total cases.
This is the rarest type of mesothelioma cancer.
The symptoms of testicular mesothelioma are very different from other symptoms. It includes the manifestations and signs related to its area of affection, which is your Testes.
Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy can save you if you have testicular mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Testicular Mesothelioma are –
- Fluid in the scrotum (Hydrocele)
- Swelling in Testicles
- Pain in scrotum
- Lump in scrotum
When Does Mesothelioma Symptoms Show Up?
By this time we all know that asbestos exposure is the only cause of mesothelioma cancer.
Thus, the symptoms also emerge because of asbestos exposure.
Now the question arises, when will the symptoms emerge?
If you are looking for the answer, we got it for you. Just stick to the article until the end. You’ll get your answer very soon my friend.
Mesothelioma symptoms do not occur in the initial stage of cancer. This is because the tumors do not grow to that level. They are very small and are not capable of spreading. And, thus the symptoms do not show up.
Generally, when the symptoms emerge, cancer has reached stage 3 or stage 4 cancer.
Because, at stage 3 and stage 4, the tumors are grown and starts spreading.
Generally, the early symptoms are not taken into account as they are very similar to small diseases. This further leads to misdiagnosis.
The mesothelioma symptoms have nearly no effect on the victim’s body until it reaches stage 3.
Literally speaking, there is about no noticeable effect until cancer reaches the last stages.
This is why most of the victims of mesothelioma are diagnosed in their last days. Probably between the age of 60-70.
Another notable thing is that women have a slightly long latency time. The symptoms take more time in women as compared to men in identification.
What Leads To Misdiagnosis?
Yes, you read it right.
Sometimes, the early symptoms lead to misdiagnosis and end up taking the victim’s life.
In the United States, it is a very common practice for which the doctors are responsible.
It is often seen the doctors claiming the early mesothelioma symptoms as symptoms of common disease and illness.
In the US, the non-specialist mesothelioma doctors often claim symptoms of pleural mesothelioma as the symptoms of general illness like cold and cough.
In the case of pleural mesothelioma, the doctors diagnose the victim with a less serious disease like pneumonia, COPD and infections in bronchial.
Doctors relate the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma with symptoms of ovarian cancer and bowel syndrome.
In the case of Pericardial mesothelioma, doctors mistakenly get confused with heart diseases, Heart failure, and common heart illness.
In most of the cases, the victims are diagnosed with the wrong disease and get the wrong treatment. This sometimes leads to another chronic disease. Sometimes death too.
Actually, these misdiagnosis leads to a delay in proper treatment and the emergence of new disease.
Thus, it is advisable to tell your physician about any past related to asbestos exposure.
You should tell your physician about any history related to exposure to asbestos. It will help him identify the early symptoms if you have them.
Because if the symptoms are identified in the early stage, you can be easily diagnosed and get the perfect treatment.
Mesothelioma Symptoms That Shows You Are About To Die
There are few symptoms which show the spreading of tumors on a large scale.
Symptoms like nerve pain in your arms show that the tumors in your chest have spread to the adjacent structures. The same is with the chokes and pain near the abdominal cavity.
Basically, the symptoms of stage 4 cancer indicate the growth of mesothelioma and probably the end of your life.
The major symptoms of stage 4 mesothelioma are –
- Difficulty while swallowing
- Hoarseness of voice
- Blood in cough
- Nerve pain
- Low sugar level
- Horner’s syndrome
- VenaCava Heart Syndrome
These symptoms show that your body is totally under control of mesothelioma and the tumors have developed to the advanced level.
If these symptoms show up in your body, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible and get the proper treatment.
It is not sure that if these symptoms show up, your life is about to end.
Rather there are a few diagnosis options which can save your life if practiced at the right time.
Treatment options like radiation therapy, multi-mode therapy, and HIPEC can still save the victim.
The Bottom Line
So, that’s all about Mesothelioma Symptoms from my side. I hope you found this article worth-reading and literally liked it.
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