Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and severe form of cancer that can take up to 50 years to develop after initial exposure to asbestos. Early signs of this neoplasm may include coughing, shortness of breath, and pain in the chest, shoulders or abdomen. It is very rare to have a latency period of mesothelioma of less than 15 years, but those who are at risk of having the shortest latency periods include first responders who have been exposed to extremely high levels of asbestos. Chemotherapy and surgery can reduce the size of tumors and relieve symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, intestinal obstruction and bloating.
Diagnosis usually begins with a physical exam and tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Common symptoms may indicate the presence of mesothelioma, such as chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen, stomach pain, nausea and indigestion, muscle weakness and body aches in the lower back or sides of the chest. HIPEC debulking is a surgical procedure to remove visible tumours in the abdomen to relieve symptoms and improve overall quality of life. An Australian study showed that women with mesothelioma in the abdomen had an average latency period of just under 30 years.
Early signs of testicular mesothelioma can be confused with injuries or diseases such as epididymitis. In some cases, early-stage mesothelioma may produce enough pleural fluid around the lung to cause difficulty breathing or coughing without it having spread. Malignant mesothelioma of the vaginal tunica accounts for less than 5% of all mesothelioma cases, so little is known about this type of cancer and its symptoms.If you experience possible symptoms of mesothelioma, even if you are not sure if you have been exposed to asbestos, see a specialist as soon as possible and tell them what you know about your exposure history. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from asbestos trust funds for medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering you have suffered.
Seeing a mesothelioma specialist can help you get an accurate diagnosis and avoid misdiagnosis.Mesothelioma symptoms tend to develop gradually over time and usually don't appear until several decades after exposure to asbestos. Early signs may look like other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia or the flu and peritoneal mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease. The symptoms of mesothelioma result from the cancer itself and may be similar to some of the side effects of cancer treatment.