Sunday, March 28, 2010

Early Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Unfortunately, there are practically no early symptoms of mesothelioma, which is why the disease is commonly diagnosed at a late stage of development. In the interest of early detection, those who were exposed to asbestos but have not yet exhibited symptoms should undergo regular chest X-rays or pulmonary function tests to monitor any adverse affects of asbestos inhalation.

When a doctor informs a patient of a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their loved ones are often very confused since the cancer is relatively unknown. provides a complimentary packet with comprehensive information about mesothelioma symptoms and next-step guidance following a diagnosis.

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer, comprising approximately two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases.

Known symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

* Persistent dry or raspy cough (typically non-productive, meaning there is little or no phlegm)
* Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
* Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
* Night sweats or fever
* Unexplained weight loss of 10 percent or more
* Fatigue
* Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing
* Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that occurs even when at rest
* The appearance of lumps under the skin on the chest

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma occur as a result of thickening of the pleural membrane, caused by the rapid production of cancerous cells which can lead to the buildup of fluid between membrane layers. Tissue thickening and fluid buildup place pressure on the lungs, leading to reduced respiratory function.

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