Mesothelioma Symptoms

Understanding the Signs of Mesothelioma

Diagnosing an asbestos-related disease can be challenging due to the diseases’ long latency periods. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not arise for 10, 20 or even 50 years after asbestos exposure.

When symptoms begin to appear, they are often mistaken for less serious respiratory illnesses, making mesothelioma even more difficult to accurately diagnose in the early stages.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation from the asbestos companies that caused you harm. Call (800) 326-8900 now to see if our attorneys can help your family. It costs nothing to speak with us.

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Early Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Whether inhaled or swallowed, the microscopic fibers settle in the body, causing damage and inflammation over the years.

As damage, inflammation and possibly cancerous cells spread, symptoms may begin to emerge decades later.

Common early signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss

However, symptoms vary for each type of mesothelioma because each impacts different parts of the body. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of mesothelioma, contact a doctor as soon as possible.

For years, asbestos companies knew about the dangers of asbestos — but they continued to put thousands at risk of developing serious illnesses.

As a leading mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has recovered over $10 billion for victims of asbestos exposure.

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Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma, is a cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, or the pleura.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include:

  • Back pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Painful breathing
  • Persistent hoarseness or dry coughing
  • Pleural effusion (fluid buildup in the lung lining)
  • Rib pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Weight loss

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining of the abdomen, or the peritoneum. It is the second most common type of mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include:

  • Abdominal pain and/or swelling
  • Anemia
  • Blood in stool
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Occasional rib and/or upper back pain
  • Weight loss

Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma is one of the rare forms of mesothelioma cancer that develops within the lining of the heart, or the pericardium.

Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Heart palpitations or murmurs
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Night sweats
  • Pericardial effusion (fluid buildup in the pericardial space)

Symptoms of Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining of the testicles, or tunica vaginalis. It is the rarest type of mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, this type is often asymptomatic. However, as it progresses, more symptoms may slowly develop.

Symptoms of testicular mesothelioma may include:

  • Fluid buildup in the scrotum
  • Lumps or masses present in the testicles
  • Swelling in the testicles

Symptoms of Other Asbestos-Related Diseases

Asbestosis Symptoms

Asbestosis is a chronic, noncancerous respiratory disease.

Symptoms of asbestosis may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Crackling sound when breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in neck or face

Lung Cancer Symptoms

The ratio of lung cancer diagnosed in people directly exposed to asbestos is significantly higher than in the general population.

Some of the more common symptoms of asbestos lung cancer include:

  • Chest pain
  • Persistent hoarseness or coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Get Help Paying for Treatment

Treatment for asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, is the most critical step toward managing symptoms. Unfortunately, treatment is costly and too often out of reach for many people.

Asbestos product manufacturers knew of the dangers but continued to put millions at risk of developing serious illnesses. That is why Simmons Hanly Conroy fights to hold these companies accountable while helping victims get the compensation they need to afford treatment.

Our firm has recovered over $9.6 billion for those diagnosed with mesothelioma and their families. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Mesothelioma Symptoms FAQs

When do mesothelioma symptoms develop?

Symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses may not develop for 10-50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. This is because the fibers remain in the body, slowly causing inflammation, irritation and damage.

What are the symptoms of asbestos exposure?

Symptoms of asbestos exposure are sometimes hard to detect since they are mistaken for other less serious illnesses.

Additionally, symptoms may vary for each person depending on how much asbestos they were exposed to or where in the body the fibers are causing damage.

However, some early signs and symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses include:

  • Chest or back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss

How do you know if you have mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose since asbestos has such a long latency period before symptoms begin to show.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as a cough and shortness of breath, talk with your doctor as soon as possible and tell them about any history of asbestos exposure.

Once symptoms are identified, doctors will perform imaging tests and biopsies to officially diagnose mesothelioma.

Simmons Support Team
Amy Fair R.N.Reviewed by:Amy Fair R.N.

Director of Medical Relations

  • Fact-Checked
  • Medical Reviewer

Amy fills a unique role helping guide patients and families through the often confusing and overwhelming steps following an asbestos-related cancer diagnosis. Assisted by 14 medical assistants and a Licensed Practical Nurse, Amy and her medical team provide healthcare information and explain treatment options to those recently diagnosed and throughout the progression of their disease.

View Sources
  1. American Cancer Society. “Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2022.
  2. Environmental Health “Asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis: a systematic review and the experience of the Apulia (southern Italy) mesothelioma register.” Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2022.
  3. Singapore Medical Journal. “Malignant mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis: an extremely rare case presenting without risk factors.” Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2022.