Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Many of the early symptoms of mesothelioma are the same as those likely to be caused by other problems, so at first people may ignore them or mistake them for common, minor ailments. Most people with mesothelioma have symptoms for at least a few months before they are diagnosed.

Pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma of the chest) symptoms

  • Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Trouble swallowing (feeling like food gets stuck)
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of the face and arms

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms

  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation

Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath

General mesothelioma symptoms

  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Blood clots
  • Loss of appetite

These symptoms can be caused by mesothelioma, but more often they are caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these problems (especially if you have been exposed to asbestos ), it’s important to see a health care provider right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

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American Society of Clinical Oncology. Mesothelioma: Symptoms and Signs. 07/2017. Accessed at www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/symptoms-and-signs on October 26, 2018.

Bibby AC, Tsim S, Kanellakis N, et al. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: an update on investigation, diagnosis and treatment. European Respiratory Review. 2016;25:472-486.

Jain SV, Wallen JM. Cancer, Mesothelioma, Malignant. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-2018 Jul 18.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Mesothelioma Symptoms. Accessed at www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/symptoms/ on October 26, 2018.

National Cancer Institute. Malignant Mesothelioma Symptoms, Tests, Prognosis, and Stages (PDQ®)–Patient Version. July 30, 2018. Accessed at www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma/patient/about-mesothelioma-pdq on October 26, 2018.

 

Last Medical Review: November 16, 2018 Last Revised: November 16, 2018

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