Mesothelioma is a serious and life-threatening cancer that affects the mesothelial cells, which are found in most of the body’s internal organs. The cancer begins outside of the lung within the lung membrane itself. While cancer begins developing in the lung and its surrounding membrane, it is not considered standard lung cancer. Due to its unique nature, mesothelioma is treated differently than traditional lung cancers even those that are difficult to treat and/or cure.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Not all symptoms of mesothelioma are present at once or occur simultaneously. However, the most common and prevalent symptoms to watch for if you suspect pleural mesothelioma include:
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Hypersensitive skin
• Pain in the arm and/or upper shoulder(s)
• Excessive sweating and/or irregular hormones
• Loss of energy/increasing lethargy
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Increased and ongoing cough
For those who believe they may have peritoneal mesothelioma, the symptoms commonly include:
• Loss of appetite/weight loss
• Nausea and vomiting
• Night sweats
• Swollen and/or painful abdominal area
• Urinary trouble
• Bowel issues
Tests to help diagnose mesothelioma
There are multiple tests available to help in the process of diagnosing mesothelioma, such as:
• X-rays. X-rays identify the thickening of pleura, spot fluid in various spaces of the lungs and detect other lung abnormalities.
• Biopsy. A biopsy can provide valuable insight into whether a patient has pleural mesothelioma.
• CT scan. A CT scan generates 3D photos of organs simultaneously while scanning lymph nodes for signs of mesothelioma and to determine whether the cancer has spread.
Understanding the symptoms of mesothelioma and which tests are available to diagnose it can help with your own condition, especially if you believe it is mesothelioma related.