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Recognizing Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, mesothelioma is often diagnosed in older individuals who worked with asbestos products. Prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, but early detection and new treatment provide hope for many patients.
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare, asbestos-related cancer. It forms on the protective tissues covering the lungs, abdomen and heart. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath. Treatments combining surgery, radiation and chemotherapy improve survival and life expectancy.

Recognizing Mesothelioma Symptoms

Patients begin to show signs of cancer around 10 to 50 years after their initial exposure to asbestos. Symptoms will differ by the type of mesothelioma, but these early symptoms are often mistaken for more common ailments, like the flu, pneumonia or lung cancer. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma early will increase treatment options and improve overall prognosis.

Common Mesothelioma Symptoms

Dry coughingShortness of breathRespiratory complicationsPain in the chest or abdomenFever or night sweatsPleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)FatigueWeakness in the muscles
These mesothelioma symptoms usually do not show until tumors have grown and spread. Mesothelioma latency is 20-50 years. That’s how long it takes from initial exposure to accurate diagnosis. For that reason, many people with mesothelioma are in their 60s or 70s.

You should talk to a mesothelioma specialist soon if you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience these symptoms. An early diagnosis may improve your prognosis and life expectancy.

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