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Mesothelioma Symptoms

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A Model of a Pair of Lungs

The Top Ten Warning Signs of Mesothelioma

By Dr. E. C. Gordon

A thin membrane lines and protects several of your main body cavities, and this membrane is called the mesothelium. Unfortunately, cancer can develop in the membranes that line the lungs, chest wall and abdomen. When it does, this disease is called mesothelioma.

In most cases, this disease results from asbestos exposure, and so mesothelioma is mainly seen in construction workers, shipbuilders and plumbers who were exposed to this dangerous material before scientists discovered its fatal effects.

While it is very frightening to face up to the possibility of having cancer, it is vital to report any suspicious symptoms if you want to improve your chances of receiving effective treatment. Read on to discover the top ten warning signs of mesothelioma.

1) Pain in your chest

One of the most common symptoms associated with mesothelioma is persistent pain in the chest wall. Patients typically describe it as a heavy, dull ache, but it will steadily become sharper more painful as the cancer begins to impact on local bone and nerves.

2) Abdominal swelling

Mesothelioma in the abdominal cavity can sometimes cause prominent swelling of the stomach, and this swollen area may be painful to the touch. This particular symptom comes from an abnormal retention of fluid in your abdomen.

3) A hoarse voice

When mesothelioma influences the lungs, it will often start to change your voice as the tumor puts pressure on the main nerve that connects to your voice box. Friends and family may notice that you have a husky voice, that you sound as though you always have a cold, or that your voice has deepened.

4) Breathlessness

In addition to changing your voice, mesothelioma in the lining of the lungs will almost always lead you to feel short of breath (even when you are relaxing in bed or sitting down to read a book). You might feel as though there is pressure pushing down on your chest, and you may experience the frustrating sensation that your lungs will not inflate to their full capacity.

5) Weight loss

Mesothelioma can cause quite dramatic weight loss no matter where it has developed, though it is particularly common when cancer is growing in the abdominal cavity. If you lose over 10% of your normal body weight without changing your physical fitness routine or reducing your food intake, report this alarming finding to your doctor.

6) Lumps in your chest

Some mesothelioma sufferers find that they develop small, unexplained lumps of tissue under the skin on their chest. Any lumps should always be investigated by a doctor, as a wide range of growths can be caused by different forms of cancer.

7) A chronic cough

The type of cough associated with mesothelioma is dry, irritatingly itchy and often occurs in conjunction with a wheezing sound eminating from your chest.

8) Drenching night sweats

Night sweats are a general symptom of cancer, and they are frequently reported by people who are in the later stages of mesothelioma.

9) Abdominal pain

The form of mesothelioma that develops in the abdominal cavity is often discovered when someone reports persistent and unexplained aches felt deep inside their lower body. This pain will usually feel quite different from the cramps associated with digestive disturbances.

10) Coughing up blood

Finally, if you notice that there is sometimes blood in your saliva or if you begin to cough up blood, this worrying symptom may also be a sign of mesothelioma.

About the Author

She has a PhD. and writes articles and blog posts focused on health advice, nutrition and more.



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