Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms - Early Diagnosis Essential
Unfortunately for patients, pleural mesothelioma symptoms usually dont show up until mesothelioma in the lung area has become quite advanced. In fact, pleural mesothelioma doesnt usually begin causing discomfort until the individual is in either a very late stage or even the end stages of this form of cancer.
Pleural mesothelioma symptoms also sometimes mimic those of other diseases such as primary lung cancer or pneumonia. The delayed diagnosis can contribute to the short life expectancy of patients.
Common Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
- Shortness of breath. This is usually the first symptom that is noticed by an individual. It is caused by the restriction or the lungs (so that they cant easily expand and contract) due to the fluid in the pleural cavity.
- Pleural effusion. This is the medical term for the fluid that builds up in the pleural walls of the chest cavity and the lungs. Although pleural effusion can also be the result of congestive heart failure, examining the fluid can tell doctors whether it is actually one of the many symptoms of pleural mesothelioma or something else entirely.
- Pain which is usually mild at the beginning and advances over time to sharp, stabbing pains. Because the pain is relatively mild at first, many people dont see a doctor early on, losing valuable time. Pain is one of the trickiest of pleural mesothelioma symptoms because it is often what is called referred pain. This means that the pain may be caused by a problem in the chest cavity/lung area, but the pain may be referred or felt in another part of the body - usually the upper abdominal cavity or the shoulder blade area.
- A dry cough is one of the less common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, but when combined with any of the others it should NOT be ignored, even early on. Hollow chest sounds may be noted by a doctor when listening to your chest sounds through a stethoscope. This muted sound is a result of the pleural effusion building up in the area.
If you are someone you love has any of these symptoms, consult a doctor right away. It does NOT mean that you or they have pleural mesothelioma - but it is an indication that there is some physical problem, and mesothelioma is a possibility. Never ignore pleural mesothelioma symptoms - early diagnosis and treatment are essential.
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