Mesothelioma symptoms do not often present early on, which means it is hard to detect, and the later symptoms can appear similar to other conditions that are not life threatening. Often, symptoms can present 20-50 years after asbestos exposure occurred.

MesoCare Mesothelioma Symptoms

This means that knowing the signs is very important, particularly if you have exposure to asbestos in the workplace, or you have a family member with exposure, as they can bring the asbestos along with them in their hair and clothing.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can be the result of fluid buildup or irritation in the stomach or lungs that comes from the growth or the tumor. These symptoms can also play a role in the prognosis of the patient. If you feel like these symptoms apply to you, it is crucial to visit a doctor as soon as possible, particularly if you know you have been exposed to asbestos at some point in your past.

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms


The most common type of mesothelioma, the pleural form comprises about three fourths of all diagnoses of mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers lodge in the lung lining, or the pleura, mesothelioma sets in.

Some of the most common pleural mesothelioma symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid buildup in lungs (pleural effusions)
  • Persistent Dry cough
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

More specific symptoms include:

  • Bloody sputum
  • Inflammation of the arms or face
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Sweating
  • Painful cough
  • Lumps of tissue in the chest area.

If you have any of those symptoms, you may have already started to develop mesothelioma, which is why you should see a doctor immediately if asbestos exposure is in your past.  Many people wait too long before seeing a doctor.

It can be tough to detect this form of mesothelioma because the symptoms show up in so many other respiratory conditions, and the rarity of mesothelioma makes many physicians unable to recognize it.

If you have a positive diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma, there are several treatment options.  Click here to see treatment options.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Between 20 and 25 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses are of the peritoneal variety, making it the second most common after pleural.

While life expectancy is higher in many cases for peritoneal patients than it is for pleural ones, it is also true that symptoms may not show up at all.

Some of the most common peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms are:

  • Fluid buildup in abdomen (Ascites)
  • Abdominal Swelling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bowel issues (constipation or obstruction)
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal lumps of tissue
  • Abdominal discomfort

Most of the time, peritoneal mesothelioma doesn’t spread into the lungs, but it can spread to the liver, intestines or ovaries.

Treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy, as with the other forms. Learn about the treatment options here.

If you have any of those symptoms, you may have already started to develop mesothelioma, which is why you should see a doctor immediately if asbestos exposure is in your past.  Many people wait too long before seeing a doctor.

It can be tough to detect this form of mesothelioma because the symptoms show up in so many other respiratory conditions, and the rarity of mesothelioma makes many physicians unable to recognize it.

If you have a positive diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma, there are several treatment options.  Click here to see treatment options.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This rare form of mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers find their way into the sac around the heart, known as the pericardium. Medical researchers have not yet established how asbestos fibers can get to this sac, as they generally enter the body through respiration. It is very difficult to detect pericardial mesothelioma, and men have twice the likelihood of a diagnosis compared to women.

Some symptoms unique to pericardial mesothelioma mimic those of other cardiac disorders.

Some of the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficult breathing
  • Unexplained cough
  • Pericardial thickening or bleeding

Physicians often mistake pericardial mesothelioma symptoms for those of a heart attack, pericarditis, myocarditis, cardiac tamponade (pressure from excess fluid), or heart failure.

The best way to tell the difference between these ailments and mesothelioma is to perform a tissue or fluid biopsy. A heart surgeon extracts tissue or fluid from the affected area and runs a test for mesothelioma. Echocardiograms and CT scans also provide helpful information as to whether a patient definitely has pericardial mesothelioma.

What to do?

No list of mesothelioma symptoms ends up being the same for every patient, which means that if you are aware of exposure to asbestos, regular checkups are a must. If any of these symptoms begin to crop up, your elevated risk means that waiting to see a doctor is not an option. The earlier you see a doctor, and begin your treatment, the greater your chances of longer life expectancy and recovery.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, let our patient advocates help you get the best care available. If you need free assistance with finding doctors, the best treatment centers, financial assistance, or more detailed mesothelioma information, contact us today. We are here to help.