The Gori Law Firm
Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day
To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in addition to face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation.
More than $3 Billion Recovered For Our Clients

When are respiratory troubles a sign of mesothelioma?

It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose mesothelioma. Its symptoms often resemble those of other, more common respiratory diseases. So, how can you know if you have mesothelioma, the flu or something else?

The truth is that there's no easy answer. Certainly, since asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, your doctor may ask about your exposure to asbestos. But the work doctors do to identify mesothelioma is often done in stages.

More than one type of mesothelioma

As noted by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there's more than one type of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma refers to a cancer of the mesothelium, a membrane that protects different internal organs. The type of mesothelioma--and the symptoms you might experience--vary with the organ the affected membrane is protecting.

When cancer infects the membrane around the lung, that's pleural mesothelioma. It's the most common form, affecting nearly 85% of all mesothelioma victims, and its symptoms resemble those of many respiratory diseases. As the American Lung Association notes, they include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing
  • Pain in your chest or lower back
  • Trouble swallowing

General symptoms, regardless of the location of cancer, also tend to include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

As you can see, these symptoms resemble those of an achy flu, as well as many other diseases. This makes diagnosing mesothelioma a bit tricky, even though an early diagnosis may be key to the best possible recovery.

Diagnosing mesothelioma

As both the National Organization for Rare Disorders and American Lung Association note, doctors should ask about your work history if they suspect mesothelioma. Since the disease results almost exclusively from asbestos exposure, your doctor will want to know if you worked in a high-risk job.

Along with this information, your doctor will want to conduct a physical exam. They will also likely:

  • Take some x-rays
  • Test your blood
  • Conduct other tests of your lungs

If the tests reveal a tumor, your doctor will perform a biopsy to verify whether it's mesothelioma. If it is, the final step is to figure out how far the cancer may have spread. Here, your doctor may request a positron emission tomography (PET) scan or biopsies of different lymph nodes--or both.

You can help

It's hard for doctors to diagnose mesothelioma, but you can help. If you suspect you may have the disease, you want to help. The earlier you can catch and treat it, the better your chance for recovery.

While you don't want to overreact to every little cough, you do want to pay attention to your health. If you have symptoms, you can't otherwise explain--and you may have a history of asbestos exposure--you can make sure your doctor is aware of your risk. In some cases, your cough and shortness of breath may pass in a few days. In other cases, they could be the first signs of a deadly disease.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Why Choose The Gori Law Firm?

  1. Experience

    With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we guide our clients through the litigation process by addressing questions and concerns and about the outcome every step of the way. Read More

  2. Results

    The team at The Gori Law Firm fights hard for clients, working to get the compensation and the settlement they deserve, obtaining over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Read More

  3. Team Approach

    We are more than just experienced attorneys: our team is also made up of highly trained paralegals and professionals specially trained to deal with the demands of these complex cases. Read More

  4. Faster Trial Dates

    We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. The Gori Law Firm works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More


Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum American Association for Justice
ABA - Defending Liberty - Pursuing Justice Illinois State Bar Association

Fill Out Our Form Today To Get A Free Case Review.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Get a Free Case Review Today

The Gori Law Firm News

The Gori Law Firm Donates to Several Area Food Pantries During the COVID-19 Crisis

Read More >

In The Community

The Gori Law Firm and Global Brew Raise More Than $20,000 at Recent Oktoberfest Event

More Community & Events >

Read Our White Paper

A Continuing Threat: How Deadly Legacy Of Asbestos Haunts Navy Veterans Today >

Edwardsville Office
The Gori Law Firm
156 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Edwardsville Law Office Map

Washington, DC Office
The Gori Law Firm
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW
10th Floor

Washington, DC 20009
Washington Law Office Map

New Orleans Office
The Gori Law Firm
909 Poydras Street, Suite 2195
New Orleans, LA 70112
New Orleans Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
The Gori Law Firm
3878 Carson Street, Suite 210
Torrance, CA 90503
Torrance Law Office Map

New York Office
The Gori Law Firm
360 Lexington Avenue
20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
New York Law Office Map

Orlando Office
The Gori Law Firm
37 N. Orange Ave., Suite 1100F
Orlando, FL 32801
Orlando Law Office Map

Granite City Office
The Gori Law Firm
2862 Madison Avenue
Granite City, IL 62040
Granite City Law Office Map

Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day 888-362-6890
Close X

Contact Us For A Free Case Assessment

Back To Top