Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer of the lung that comes from inhaling tiny asbestos fibers.
Unfortunately, it’s easily mistaken for other conditions, especially in the early stages. With any cancer, an early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to a successful treatment and a better life, so it’s critical that you recognize the signs of this type of cancer if you’ve ever been exposed to asbestos.
What are the early symptoms of pleural mesothelioma? Look for these:
- Unusual wheezing or coughing, particularly upon exertion or one that becomes chronic
- Problems catching your breath
- Waking up with night sweats or unexplained fevers
- Chest pains that have no ready explanation
- Loss of your normal appetite
- Weight loss not tied to dieting or exercise
- Muscle weakness
- Unusual amounts of fatigue
- Fluid retention and swelling in your arms and face
- Difficulty swallowing normally, including liquids
- Blood when you cough
While some of these symptoms are more alarming than others, what you want to be concerned about is anything that’s abnormal for you, personally. For example, coughing blood isn’t normal for anyone. Also, the more of these symptoms you have at once, even mildly, the more you need to be concerned. However, some people simply suffer from fatigue at times due to stress, exhaustion and other, ordinary issues — which doesn’t make it a serious concern unless the fatigue is far more intense than usual.
According to the statistics, the most common early symptoms include feeling short of breath on a regular basis, chest pains and chronic coughing. Almost nine out of 10 people eventually diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma also have fluid around their lungs, but that’s something you may not realize until you are seen by a physician.
Because pleural mesothelioma is far less common than ordinary lung cancer, the rate of misdiagnosis is high. A doctor can easily mistake one for the other — which makes it important to seek a second opinion from an oncologist who has experience with the disorder.
If you’re diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, you’ll experience a number of life-altering events, including a lot of expenses. It’s wisest to explore all your legal options quickly after diagnosis — both for your sake and that of your family’s security.