Mesothelioma and its different types of cancers are sometimes difficult to see. The reason for this is the symptoms that someone may initially experience can be very similar to many other diseases both serious in nature and not so serious. Whether you eventually find that you have Mesothelioma of the Pleura (chest wall lining), the Pericardial (the heart sac), or the Peritoneal (abdominal lining) the symptoms that may appear early on can be misunderstood as something else.
Common Symptoms by Type
Some common symptoms of Pleura Mesothelioma (chest wall lining) are tightness in the chest caused by the lining being less elastic from the damage from the fibers of the Asbestos causing the cancer. You can experience breathing issues, like not being able to take deep breaths which is caused from fluid buildup or tumors that stiffen the diaphragm. Another common symptom is a cough that will not go away.
With Pericardial Mesothelioma (the heart sac), fluid builds up around the heart muscle. This is called effusion, which leads to similar breathing issues as well as difficulty swallowing or a hoarse effect to your voice. Pain is a symptom that can occur in people with either type of Mesothelioma originating in the chest or the heart regions.
The symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma (abdominal lining) are typically swelling and tightness in the belly. Sometimes people can have a buildup of fluid around the abdomen, increased weight gain, and tightness in the area. Pain in the abdomen and the bones as it progresses is also common.
With any of these types of Mesothelioma, blood work is often performed with people who present with these symptoms. Individuals with Mesothelioma can show high platelet counts and increased white blood cell production. Most people can also experience anemia which can show in blood work as a low red blood cell count and can present a common symptom of easy bruising on the skin.
Difficult to Diagnose
One of the other issues with discovering a Mesothelioma diagnosis is that the disease is so rare. The symptoms described above are very similar to many other conditions, therefore, doctors don’t always look to the diagnosis of Mesothelioma.
If the symptoms described here present themselves, and you are aware that you were exposed to Asbestos, it is important to tell your medical provider right away. This is because Asbestos is a substance found to be a primary risk factor for developing Mesothelioma. Telling them of this history of possible exposure can allow your medical provider with a better understanding of what may be causing the symptoms you are experiencing.
It Takes a Long Time to Develop
The development of Mesothelioma after exposure to Asbestos can take a very long time – anywhere from 10 – 50 years. Many people aren’t even diagnosed until after 70 years of age. With this lengthy time frame in mind, it is important to have a good memory of your work history and whether you may have been in contact with Asbestos. What can make it even more problematic is that some cases of the development of Mesothelioma can come from second-hand exposures which may mean someone would have no knowledge they were ever exposed in the first place.
Contact Our Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and believe that it may be from exposure to Asbestos, contact our lawyers at Charles Boyk Law today so we can discuss these important issues with you. Even if you aren’t sure that Asbestos is to blame, we are experienced in analyzing incidents to determine this. We are compassionate and look forward to hearing from you.