Mesothelioma can be difficult to detect because its symptoms are vague and can be misdiagnosed as other conditions, such as an upper respiratory infection, pneumonia, irritable bowel syndrome or a hernia. The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, so individuals who have worked with asbestos or lived with someone who did should speak with a doctor if they’re experiencing symptoms common to mesothelioma patients.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
General mesothelioma symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, excessive sweating and blood clots. There may be additional symptoms based on the type of mesothelioma that is present. Mesothelioma is categorized into four types based on the part of the body the tumor originated—pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular—and symptoms include:
- Pleural mesothelioma – dry or raspy cough, painful breathing, shortness of breath, reduced chest expansion, coughing up blood, visible lumps underneath the skin of the chest and pleural effusions
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – diarrhea or constipation, night sweats, nausea or vomiting, hernias, abdominal pain and a persistent feeling of fullness
- Pericardial mesothelioma – shortness of breath, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pains and heart murmurs
- Testicular mesothelioma – swelling or a mass on a testicle
Moffitt Cancer Center’s approach to mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, which is why it’s crucial to partner with experienced doctors who specialize in this condition. At Moffitt Cancer Center, our Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center is one of the only specialty treatment centers in the nation for this rare disease and is home to a number of specialists, including surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists and pulmonologists. This team of specialists has extensive experience evaluating the warning signs of mesothelioma, helping lead to early diagnosis and successful treatment. We offer a wide range of diagnostic tests under one roof as well as some of the most innovative therapies for treating mesothelioma.