Each person’s symptoms will be unique to their situation and to their case of mesothelioma. How the symptoms manifest themselves and when they manifest themselves depends on the stage of the cancer. One of the reasons that mesothelioma is rarely caught into it is in very late stages is because the early warning signs are often attributed to other issues or go unnoticed by the individual. Here are some of the most common symptoms to look for:
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Most patients with pleural mesothelioma do not have any symptoms during the early stages of this disease, or if they do, most patients do not connect them to any type of cancer. For example, one of the most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma is shortness of breath and a chronic cough. Because both of these can come on gradually and develop in severity over time, a person might not even notice these symptoms until some of the more serious have started to occur, like chest pain and weight loss.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of this cancer, followed by peritoneal. Common symptoms include weight loss, hernias, a feeling of fullness in the abdomen which can cause loss of appetite, bowel obstruction, fatigue, and even abdominal distension.
This type of mesothelioma develops not in the lining of the lungs, but in the lining of the abdomen, and therefore affects this area, especially the digestive track. Bowel obstruction is one of the most reliable warning signs of advanced stage mesothelioma, as it usually indicates that the tumors have begun to spread.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms
This third type of mesothelioma is incredibly rare, and therefore, not much is known about it or its symptoms. Patients who suffer from pericardial mesothelioma experience this cancer in the lining of the heart and usually report a difficulty breathing and chest pains, as the tumors grow in the pericardial lining and put pressure on the heart and lungs.
Testicular Mesothelioma Symptoms
Making up less than one percent of total mesothelioma cases, testicular mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to catch. With no real symptoms until the tumors have already started to spread, finding a lump on or in the testes is the only reported symptom.
When Will Symptoms Occur?
Most men do not start to experience any symptoms of any type of mesothelioma until an average of forty-eight years after exposure to asbestos. Women will usually not develop this disease or show any symptoms for more than fifty years after exposure.