Did you know that every year, about 3,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer? Mesothelioma is a rare and incurable disease that develops after exposure to asbestos. Once asbestos is inhaled or swallowed by an individual, the microscopic fibers are able to penetrate different areas of the body, which can lead to the development of fatal tumors over time.
It is often the case that mesothelioma is misdiagnosed by medical professionals. This is because the symptoms of mesothelioma so closely resemble that of other respiratory diseases, like pneumonia or bronchitis. Sometimes symptoms are so subtle that they only resemble a cold or flu.
Pleural mesothelioma: Dry cough, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, harsh breathing sounds
Peritoneal mesothelioma: Abdominal pain, abdominal enlargement, tenderness of the abdominal area, loss of appetite
Pericardial mesothelioma: Difficulty breathing, chest pain
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it is a good idea to alert your doctor and have them monitor your health for any symptoms that could be in relation to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Sources: 1, 2, 3