There are many different signs and symptoms associated with each of the three main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma, which affects the outer linings of the lungs, can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pleural effusion (the buildup of fluid surrounding the lungs)
- Wheezing or hoarseness
- Blood in the sputum
In extremely severe cases that are left undiagnosed, pleural mesotheliolama can lead to tumors on the lungs or pneumothorax, which is collapsing of the lung. Like all forms of cancer pleural mesothelioma can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body including the heart and the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma is a fatal cancer, and most prognoses for patients diagnosed with the disease are not good. The majority of patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma do not survive for more than a year.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, the type of mesothelioma that forms in lining of the abdominal cavity can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Bowel obstruction
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites (the buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
Pericardial mesothelioma, the type of mesothelioma that forms in the lining surrounding the heart known as the pericardium can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Heart murmurs
- Heart palpitations
Like pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is a potentially fatal disease.
In extreme cases of mesothelioma more severe signs and symptoms of the disease are exhibited including:
- Severe Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen)
- Pulminary emboli (blood clots in the lung arteries)
- Severe Pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid around the lungs)
- Blood clots in veins
- Low blood sugar
Some symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to symptoms of lung cancer caused by smoking. These include scarring of the lungs, lung tumors, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Smoking has been shown to increase the development of mesothelioma by certain studies, although asbestos is still considered the main factor that causes the disease.