The malignant mesothelioma symptoms are one very aggressive and painful cancer symptoms that varies depending on the body area that is affected, and also varies in different individuals.
Mesothelioma occurs mostly in the tissue that surrounds the lungs (Pleural Mesothelioma), but can also occur in the abdominal tissues (Peritoneal Mesothelioma), the tissue surrounding the heart (Pericardial Mesothelioma), and the tissue that surrounds the testicles (Testicular or Tunica Vaginalis Mesothelioma).
It very important that individuals understand the symptoms of this form of cancer and seek medical attention as soon as it is detected, because extending the life expectancy of a patient living with the disease depends largely on early detection.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned below, or you had, or have reasons to believe that you were exposed to asbestos fibers, which is the only known cause of asbestos cancers, do well to contact your doctor right away.
If a person has been diagnosed with the mesothelioma, such a person may be entitled to compensation from Asbestos trust funds for lost wages, medical bills, as well as the pain and suffering the person is going through.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma to watch out for
Aches on all parts of the chest and muscle weakness are symptoms experienced by over half of all Pleural Mesothelioma patients.
Patients who are diagnosed with the Peritoneal Mesothelioma usually experience pain in the abdominal area.
While for patients with the Pericardial Mesothelioma, they experience heart palpitation, chest pain, constant and acute cough, and shortness of breath.
The areas of pain the mesothelioma patients experience typically increases over time and can get very acute in many cases, requiring prescription and narcotics management.
It is therefore; very vital that affected individuals let their doctors or physicians to know about the experiences they are going through.
With the application of these medications, support from a medical team can help reduce the discomfort associated with these Mesothelioma symptoms:
- Mild Pain – is typically treated nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as over-the-counter medication. These drugs usually contain asprin, ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen.
- Moderate Pain – it typically associated with the use of opioid medications that are sometimes used in combination with NSAIDs. These opioid products are methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or codeine.
- Severe Pain – is the one that is experienced mostly following surgical operations and is typically managed through patient-controlled analgesia, where the patient can manage the dosage of the prescribed painkiller. Most times this comes as morphine drip. Higher doses of the moderate pain relievers may be administered or other drugs with better effect can be prescribed including hydromorphone and fentanyl.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma by Type of the Disease
Pleural Mesothelioma (Located in the lining of the Lungs)
The symptoms and signs of this type of the cancer are similar to those occurring with less severe respiratory and other diseases, and this makes the diagnosis very difficult.
Individuals with a history of being exposed to asbestos should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms of mesothelioma:
- Painful coughing
- Difficulty with swallowing
- Respiratory complications
- Persistent cough
- Dry cough
- Coughing up blood
- Lumps under the skin of the chest
- Chest pain
- Buildup of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
- Unexplained and significant weight loss
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty with breathing
Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Located in the lining of the abdomen)
Although studies have shown that most of the symptoms of this type of the cancer are usually associated with other diseases, patients most often experience the following:
- loss of appetite
- vomiting and nausea
- constipation or diarrhea
- bowel obstruction
- night sweats
- Ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
- Pain in the abdomen
- unexplained weight loss
Pericardial Mesothelioma (Located in the lining of the heart)
Signs and symptoms of the pericardial mesothelioma are often insidious and may include:
- fluid in the pericardial space
- night sweating
- paradoxical pulse
- weight loss
- generalized weakness
- breathing difficulty
- constant and acute cough
- chest pain
- heart palpitations
Tunica Vaginalis Mesothelioma (Located in the lining of the testicles)
This type of the mesothelioma cancer represents a very rare proportion of cases, less than 5% of all the cases of mesothelioma and so little are known about it and its symptoms. However, research has shown that a testicular mass accumulation of fluid in the scrotum and testicular swelling are the commons symptoms associated with the disease.
Latency Period and Misdiagnosis
The malignant mesothelioma symptoms usually progresses in subtle and small ways that also usually appear in other respiratory diseases and this can be confusing to the doctor in some cases.
Knowing that the mesothelioma is a rare disease, it is uncommon for a doctor to get to examine a patient with the disease. Another difficulty that can result in a misdiagnosis is that the disease has such a long latency period (usually between 15 – 60 years) after asbestos exposure, so it is very possible that the patient may not remember being exposed to asbestos, and the doctor may end up not attributing the symptoms to an asbestos exposure.
How to get an Early Diagnosis on Mesothelioma
Diagnosing the disease at an early stage is very important, so that the patient involved can have better prognosis. So therefore, it is vital to look out for any of these symptoms of the mesothelioma all over the whole body:
- Even if it occurred 20 – 30 years ago, it is very likely that you or someone from your home has had an asbestos exposure.
- Veterans constitute up to a third of all patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States.
- Warning signs such as pneumonia should be kept on the lookout. People get misdiagnosed with pneumonia most times, and they don’t get better.
- To get a better diagnosis, when these symptoms begin to show, you need to get a specialist or a family medical practitioner that can be more invasive and aggressive. Often times, physicians and doctors are concerned that taking an invasive procedure may add to the pain and suffering of the patient, which is not really true. In recent times, in an outpatient setting, specialists can do a biopsy same day, in and out of the hospital with minimal pain. This procedure will help produce a really good and reliable tissue diagnosis. Early diagnosis is always the best step to treatment when it comes to mesothelioma.
If the symptoms you exhibit suggest mesothelioma, your doctor will generally want to follow up with more testing, beginning with image scan tests that allow your body to be viewed and checked for abnormalities from inside. Such abnormalities to be checked for include the presence of tumors or accumulated fluid. In addition, imaging technologies may be used in order to help your doctor make an initial mesothelioma diagnosis. The image tests will help the doctor determine a treatment plan, identify the cancer stage, and track responses to treatment.
Compensation for Mesothelioma Treatment
If an individual receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, the person should know that he or she may be entitled to a form of compensation from Asbestos companies that cause the spread of this cancer and put lives in danger.
This compensation could cover any wages you missed at work due to treatment, payment to the patient’s account to compensate for pain and suffering being experienced, and also for medical bills of treatment. It is meant that individuals with this health conditions should not have to suffer alone.
To discuss your legal options as a mesothelioma patient, and also learn about the process involved in pursuing compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit, do well to reach out to a patient advocate today.