And even when the symptoms do become evident, which can take several decades, the symptoms are so generalized and non-specific that they could be put down to any number of more common diseases. This makes it hard for even experienced doctors to make a quick and conclusive diagnosis with Mesothelioma patients. The symptoms of this disease can often be confused with pneumonia during its early stages.
Some Common Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of Mesothelioma of all three types are shortness of breath and chest pains. This may be accompanied by a persistent cough, and these entire symptoms stem from the build up of fluid between the lining of the lung and the chest cavity, known as pleural effusion.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
In pleural effusion, an accumulation of fluid happens between the parietal pleura (the pleura covering the chest wall and diaphragm) and the visceral pleura (the pleura covering the lungs). Both of these membranes are covered with mesothelial cells which, under normal conditions, produce a small amount of fluid that acts as a lubricant between the chest wall and the lung. Any excess fluid is absorbed by blood and lymph vessels maintaining a balance. When too much fluid forms, the result is an effusion.
This type of the disease starts in the chest cavity and can then spread to other parts of the body. Pleural Mesothelioma sufferers may also begin to display severe breathing difficulty, weight loss and fever as well as trouble swallowing and even swelling of the face and neck. Some patients may also develop a rasping voice and start coughing up blood. However, there are other patients that may not show any significant symptoms at all.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
The symptoms for patients who suffer from peritoneal Mesothelioma (a rarer form of the disease) are slightly different. This type of the disease starts in the abdomen and can spread form there. Patients of peritoneal Mesothelioma can display abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting. They can also suffer breathing problems, and chest pain in addition to these symptoms. These symptoms result from tumors that lean against the abdominal wall. Bowel obstruction, anemia, fever and problems with blood clotting may also affect peritoneal Mesothelioma patients.
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma
The rarest form of this disease is pericardial Mesothelioma, which starts in the cavity surrounding the heart. With pericardial Mesothelioma, the tumors grow in the tissues that surround the heart and can spread from there. Pericardial Mesothelioma sufferers may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, persistent coughing and palpitations.
Donít Lose Hope
Most people who have worked with asbestos in the past do not begin to show symptoms of Mesothelioma until thirty to forty years later. By this time, the disease is already spreading and with the delay in diagnosis, makes it impossible to treat in many cases before it is too late. However, the cause, effects and symptoms of Mesothelioma are now becoming more widely known by professionals and lay people. This awareness, coupled with the current clinical trials that are being carried out by a variety of organizations gives patients the hope that an effective treatment will one day be available for all stages of the disease.
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Rob Mellor helps people find out more about mesothelioma. for more information on mesothelioma symptoms
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