Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects mesothelial cells which line the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Mesothelioma, of which the only known cause is exposure to asbestos, generally develops 20 to 60 years after the initial asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is called Pleural Mesothelioma when it involves the lung and chest area. Symptoms of this type of cancer are chest and lower back pain, difficulty breathing, coughing, weight loss, fever, muscle weakness and sensory loss, coughing up blood, hoarseness and swelling of the face and arms.
Mesothelioma is called Peritoneal Mesothelioma when located in the abdominal cavity, and either stomach, liver, spleen or the bowel are affected Symptoms are bloating due to fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity, nausea & vomiting, swelling of the feet, fever, and impaired bowel function.
Mesothelioma symptoms are often ignored or attributed to other types of illnesses. This can, and does, lengthen the time to diagnosis, and lower chances of successful treatment.
Experts suggest reviewing your history with your doctor to determine if asbestos exposure is in your past. If so, the above symptoms should initiate questions about a mesothelioma diagnosis. You may wish to explore treatment at a cancer center or consult with a lawyer.