Mesothelioma Symptoms & Diagnosis
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to
50 years after exposure to asbestos. Symptoms vary according
to location of the cancer.
Pleural mesothelioma - Shortness
of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation
of fluid in the pleura.
Pericardial mesothelioma - persistent
cough, chest pain, palpitations, dyspnea, palpitations,
breathing problems and labored breathing, fever, sweating,
fatigue and weakness, weight loss
Peritoneal mesothelioma - weight
loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup
of fluid in the abdomen. Bowel obstruction, blood clotting
abnormalities,anaemia, and fever. If the cancer has
spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the
body, symptoms may also include pain, trouble swallowing,
or swelling of the neck or face.
- Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because
the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other
conditions. The path of diagnosis is:
- Review of the patient’s medical history,
including any history of asbestos exposure.
- A complete physical examination may be performed,
including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung
function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also
- A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Chest - thoracoscopy. allows the doctor
to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples.
Abdomen - peritoneoscopy, inserts a special
instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal
- More extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
- Staging - If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, to
learn the stage (or extent) of the disease more tests
are carried out to ascertain whether the cancer has
spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. This
helps plan treatment.
Localised - the cancer is found only
on the membrane surface where it originated.
Advanced - it has spread beyond the original
membrane surface to other parts of the body, such
as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal
Description of Mesothelioma