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Mesothelioma Symptoms: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

One of the primary mesothelioma symptoms commonly seen in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma is the presence of fluid. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, which represents 80% of cases, the fluid compresses the lung, causing intense pain, shortness of breath and overwhelming fatigue. This fluid will eventually enter the pericardial space and patients will have symptoms suggestive of congestive heart failure.

As the fluid and expanding tumor slowly fill up the chest, lung function is compromised. Relieving the fluid pressure can provide short term relief of symptoms.

Pleural mesothelioma patients often complain of the following mesothelioma symptoms: sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, chest pain, shortness of breath

Pleural mesothelioma patients in five studies presented by P. Chahinian showed the following symptoms in varying degrees:

Dyspnea (shortness of breath) 6-60% of cases
Chest pain 33-71% of cases
Both dyspnea and pain 19-28% of cases
Cough 3-27%
Hemoptysis (spitting blood or bloody sputum) 1-6%
Hoarseness 1-3%
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) 1%
Weight Loss 14-29%
Fever 3-33%
Asymptomatic 3-4%
Pleural effusion (fluid in the chest cavity) 74-84%

Remember that patients with mesothelioma may not begin showing signs of the disease for as long as 25-50 years following exposure to asbestos.