Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Asbestos was first commercially mined in the late 1800s. Miners had no protective gear and were exposed for 18 to 20 hours at a time. It is not surprising that the first documented death attributed to asbestosis was in 1906. Concurrently, researchers and statisticians began to note a correlation between an increase in lung problems and the proximity to asbestos mining towns.

The term mesothelioma was not used in medical literature until the 1930s, and it did not become intimately associated with asbestos until a decade later. Generally, mesothelioma actually refers to any cancer that afflicts the protective linings of various organs in the body such as the lungs, the heart and the intestinal organs.

Mesothelioma is a particularly serious and, more often than not, a life-threatening illness. The sooner that it is identified and the sooner that treatment begins, the better for the patient and his family.

Unfortunately, early warning signs are dispersed across a wide spectrum and can be caused by a variety of illnesses. For example, mesothelioma can cause coughing, fever, night sweats and a general malaise. In fact, in some cases, there are no symptoms at diagnosis. Nevertheless, a skilled diagnostician can very often make an early diagnosis of mesothelioma. As with any cancer, an early diagnosis is significant and will aid the treatment process immeasurably.

The most common mesotheliomas affect the linings surrounding the lungs and the lining of the abdominal cavity. In rarer cases, it will afflict the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart or the tunica vaginalis, which surrounds the testes.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Shortness of breath, coughing and pains in the chest are indicative of a number of maladies. The confirmation of fluids in the pleural space, on the other hand, is a definite indication of pleural mesothelioma. In addition, the patient may suffer from anemia, hoarseness or cough up blood. In the most advanced cases, the patient may have tumor masses on the lining or even a collapsed lung.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The more specific symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma center around the abdomen. Weight loss, abdominal pain and bowel obstruction offer preliminary indications. In addition, similar to pleural mesothelioma, fluids will build up in the mesothelium, swelling the abdominal cavity, and present as abdominal swelling.

Advanced Mesothelioma

There is no fine art in the diagnosis of advanced mesothelioma as the symptoms are marked, persistent and debilitating. Jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes, is observed. Blood clots and bleeding in multiple organs are found. Of course, the swelling of the mesothelium itself becomes extremely pronounced.

There is no denying that the diagnosis of mesothelioma is a life-changing event. It is a potentially fatal affliction. Fortunately, mesothelioma does not, ordinarily, spread to the bones or the brain. With early diagnosis, there are a number of treatment regimens, each progressively more aggressive that can halt the advance of this asbestos caused cancer. If you need further information about or assistance with mesothelioma, please feel free to contact us.