Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma grows slowly, and silently. For ten years, sometimes for as long as 30 years the tumor grows within the body, causing no symptoms. Only when the tumor has grown large enough that it presses on vital organs, or leaks fluid into the body cavity does the victim begin to experience symptoms. For pleural mesothelioma, the first symptoms can include
- moderate to severe chest pain
- shortness of breath
- constant fatigue
- a persistent dry cough
Less frequent symptoms can include weight loss, night sweats, and fevers.
Peritoneal mesothelioma also grows slowly and without symptoms. The first indicators are often nonspecific, and may include
- weight loss
- abdominal pain
- digestive disturbances
- increased abdominal girth or distention of the abdomen
- an abdominal mass
- ascites (fluid in the abdomen)
Because the symptoms for both conditions are nonspecific; that is, they could be caused by any of a number of illnesses, mesothelioma is often not suspected. See the next section on diagnostic inclusion.