About 15% of Mesothelioma cases are found in the early stages, before the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or elsewhere. The 5 year survival rate for people with Mesothelioma is 50% if there is no evidence of cancer in lymph nodes at the time of surgery. Unfortunately, in most cases, the spread of cancer has already occurred even if not detected by current medical tests. When all Mesothelioma stages are considered together, the 5 year survival rate is only about 14%. Many early Mesothelioma are diagnosed incidentally - they are found as a result of tests that are done for an unrelated medical condition. Although Mesothelioma does not cause any symptoms until it has spread too far to be cured, symptoms do occur in some patients with early Mesothelioma . Prompt attention to symptoms, leading to early diagnosis and treatment can result in a cure for some patients. For others, prompt attention to symptoms can improve the likelihood that treatment can extend their life and relieve many of their symptoms.
Common signs and symptoms of Mesothelioma include:
- A cough that does not go away
- Chest pain, often aggravated by deep breathing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Bloody or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
- Shortness of breath
- Fever without a known reason
- Recurring infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
- New onset of wheezing
- When Mesothelioma spreads to distant organs, it may cause:
- Bone pain
- Neurologic changes (such as weakness or numbness of a limb, dizziness)
- Jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes)
- Masses near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collection of immune system cells) in the neck or above the collarbone.
A. Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma cancer of the lung lining) include:
|pain in the lower back or the side of the chest|
|shortness of breath|
|a persistent cough|
|difficulty swallowing food|
|fever and sweating|
These symptoms are also common to many minor ailments and, therefore, may not cause a doctor to suspect mesothelioma.
Pleural Effusion-fluid in the Lungs
One of the most common and specific symptoms of pleural mesothelioma is the accumulation of fluid between the lungs and chest cavity. This generally causes shortness of breath, and requires a doctor to drain the fluid, called fine-needle aspiration, to make breathing easier and relieve chest pain. This symptom is more unique to mesothelioma, making it more likely that you may have the disease.
B. Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal mesothelioma - mesothelioma of the lining of the stomach) include:
|nausea and vomiting|
Like pleural mesothelioma, these symptoms are also common to many minor ailments and, therefore, may not cause a doctor to suspect mesothelioma.
If you are interested in reading more about specific mesothelioma symptoms from other medical authorities, please visit the following links
Search Mesothelioma Medical's Arcive of Medical Journals
#6 Symptoms - National Cancer Institute Government Website
EPA.gov about midway down the page talks about Mesothelioma
OSHA.gov on Mesothelioma Symptoms