Mesothelioma symptoms may vary depending on whether the mesothelioma is in the pleura of the lung (the thin membrane surrounding the lungs) or peritoneum of the lung (the membrane lining the abdominal cavity).

Symptoms in the early stages of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages, with early symptoms so minor they are often mistaken for everyday aches and pains. Symptoms will often not arise until the illness has progressed to a severe level. When the symptoms do develop, it is often because the cancer has grown to a point where it is pressing against an internal organ.

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma

Typical symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Pain in the lower back or the side of the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating and high temperatures
  • A persistent cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A hoarse or husky voice

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma

Typical symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:

  • Pain in the abdomen (tummy)
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Poor appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Diarrhoea or constipation

How long do symptoms take to develop?

Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos related cancers don’t become noticeable until 10 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, due to to this long latency period, by the time mesothelioma is diagnosed it has usually progressed to a severe level which means the prognosis is always a negative one.

What to do if you are suffering from these symptoms

All of the symptoms mentioned above can be caused by illnesses other than mesothelioma. However, if you are suffering from any of these symptoms it is important that you visit your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.