Mesothelioma Symptoms An Overview

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					Malignant mesotheliomas are rare cancers that form in the tissues lining
the lungs (pleura), abdomen (peritoneum) or heart (pericardium). Pleural
mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs, is the most common,
accounting for about 75 percent of all malignant mesotheliomas. Between
ten and twenty percent of all malignant mesotheliomas are peritoneal
mesotheliomas. Pericardial mesotheliomas are extremely rare. A history
of exposure to asbestos is found in most individuals with mesothelioma.
The time from exposure to onset of cancer may be as long as thirty years;
this is why most people with malignant mesothelioma are between 50 and 70
years old.Many symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are non-specific, and
are also seen in a number of other chest and abdominal conditions. This,
combined with the lack of an accurate history of asbestos exposure in
some patients, may considerably delay diagnosis. The majority of people
with mesothelioma only have symptoms during the two to three months
before they are diagnosed. About one quarter of all people with
malignant mesothelioma have symptoms for about six months before
diagnosis.Once symptoms are present, they may depend on the location of
the primary cancer. In general, symptoms become more pronounced with
more advanced disease. With pleural mesothelioma, common symptoms are
difficulty breathing, cough, pain in the chest or under the ribcage,
coughing up blood, hoarseness, and the collection of fluid or pleural
effusion in the pleural cavity. The face and arms may swell up. Many of
these symptoms and signs are also seen with lung cancer.With peritoneal
mesothelioma, symptoms may include a lump or swelling in the abdomen,
abdominal pain, fluid in the abdomen, constipation due to bowel
obstruction, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Patients suffering
from pericardial mesothelioma may experience chest pain, breathlessness
and palpitations. Some symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are common to
many cancers. These include unexplained weight loss, fever and fatigue.

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