- Lung Cancer Slideshow
- Lung Cancer Quiz
- Lung Cancer Myths and Facts
- Patient Comments: Mesothelioma - Signs and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Mesothelioma - Asbestos Exposure
- Patient Comments: Mesothelioma - Treatment
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
- Mesothelioma facts
- What is mesothelioma?
- What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
- What causes mesothelioma?
- How much asbestos exposure does it take to get mesothelioma?
- How long does it take after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to show up?
- How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
- What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?
- What is the treatment for mesothelioma?
- Is there any promising research or are there promising drugs for mesothelioma?
- What other kinds of information is available for people with mesothelioma?
Quick GuideLung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Most people present with complaints of shortness of breath. They also can have complaints of chest pain and cough. Patients may also be asymptomatic, with the disease discovered by physical exam or an abnormal chest X-ray.
As the disease progresses, shortness of breath increases, and weight loss, decreased appetite, and night sweats can develop. Local invasion by the tumor can result in changing of voice, loss of function of the diaphragm, and symptoms specific to the area and involvement of adjacent structures.
What causes mesothelioma?
Most people with malignant mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos. Usually, this involves men over 40 years of age. Others have been exposed to asbestos in a household environment, often without knowing it. The number of new cases of mesothelioma has been relatively stable since 1983, the same time that the restrictions on asbestos were instituted by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Europe, the number of new cases of mesothelioma continues to rise.