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Symptoms & Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare but serious form of cancer that affects the thin tissue layer that covers most of the internal organs, known as the mesothelium. This cancer is most often caused by exposure to asbestos and typically affects the lungs and abdomen, but can also affect the heart, testicles, and other organs.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of mesothelioma which can take decades to appear after the initial exposure to asbestos. Please note, however, that most people will not develop mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult, as the symptoms often resemble those of other diseases. Symptoms vary depending on where the tumor is located.

Common signs and symptoms of pleura mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, may include:

· Shortness of breath

· Chest or low back pain

· Persistent dry cough

· Difficulty swallowing

· Loss of appetite

· Fatigue

· Weight loss

Common signs and symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdomen, may include:

· Abdominal pain

· Swelling in the abdomen

· Constipation

· Nausea

· Vomiting

· Loss of appetite

· Fatigue

· Weight loss

Common signs and symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the heart, may include:

· Difficulty Breathing

· Chest Pain

· Heart Failure

· Pericardial Effusion

· Pulmonary Embolism

· Weight loss

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and have been experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is advised to see a doctor. Tell them about your symptoms and that you have a history of exposure to asbestos. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam. During the physical exam, the doctor may feel for lumps or swelling in the chest or abdomen. Your doctor will likely order a series of tests, including imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, If the results of the imaging tests suggest mesothelioma, a biopsy of the affected tissue and blood tests may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. If your doctor suspects you have mesothelioma, they will refer you to a specialist.

A mesothelioma specialist can provide you with a more detailed diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or a combination of these treatments. They may also be able to connect you with support services and resources to help you and your family cope with the diagnosis. Additionally, it is recommended to seek out legal counsel to file a legal claim for your asbestos caused cancer. You or your loved one can receive compensation to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better the patient’s chances for a more effective treatment plan. If you have been exposed to asbestos, talk to your doctor about your risk for developing mesothelioma and the symptoms you are experiencing.

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