It can sometimes be difficult to identify mesothelioma symptoms, due in large part to the fact that common symptoms – including chest pain, coughing and difficulty breathing – mirror a number of other lung-related conditions. Early stage symptoms may even be mistaken for normal aches and pains, or the onset of another illness such as pneumonia, which can make early diagnosis all the more difficult to achieve.
Mesothelioma Symptoms and Other Cancers
Because symptoms can be different depending on the type of cancer, it’s possible that they can be so mild that a person does not realize there is a problem until they progress to a much later stage.
In fact, many warning signs of mesothelioma are similar to those associated with other cancers, including weight loss and loss of appetite. Some of the most common mesothelioma symptoms that can be mistaken for other illnesses include:
- Wheezing or dry cough
- Shortness of breath, otherwise known as dyspnea
- Pleural effusions
- Difficulty breathing or other respiratory complications
- Muscle weakness
- Pain in the abdomen or chest
In many situations, identifying warning signs may not occur until cancer has spread, which can make it increasingly difficult for doctors to treat.
That’s why it is so important, if you are recognizing early symptoms of mesothelioma, to consult with your doctor about your history to asbestos exposure. Doing so may help with an early diagnosis, which offers a much higher chance of effective therapies.
When Do Symptoms Typically Emerge?
Typically, symptoms associated with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers will first emerge in a subtle manner. In many cases, they may be so minor that patients and their doctors mistake them for another illness or disorder, or write them off entirely.
The reality is that these minor signals might not become noticeable until 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure. Because cancer can take many decades to develop, symptoms may not begin to impact a person’s life until the tumors have started to spread.
Unfortunately, that means that many patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are diagnosed in later stages, such as stage III or stage IV.
It is also not uncommon for medical professionals, specifically non-specialists or those not well versed in the onset of mesothelioma symptoms, to misdiagnose, depending on the development of the illness. Some common symptoms that are related to the invasion of asbestos-related cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Hoarseness (laryngeal nerve palsy)
- Nerve damage to the face (Horner’s Syndrome)
- Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)
- Obstruction of the vein that circulates blood from the upper body to the heart (Superior Vena Cava Syndrome)
It is therefore not unusual to seek medical attention only once symptoms have intensified. As a result, a great deal of mesothelioma research is dedicated to finding more innovative, effective ways to secure early diagnoses, allowing a more effective treatment.
Legal Assistance with Mesothelioma Claims
Have you or a loved one suffered from severe illness due to asbestos exposure? If so, you may have grounds for a legal claim, which can help address the severe financial challenges that come with rising treatment costs related to mesothelioma.
That’s where the attorneys at Antion McGee Law Group PLLC come in. Our team of compassionate, dedicated attorneys understand that dealing with a serious illness like mesothelioma is never easy. That’s why we are committed to working with patients to not only find the best medical care available for your condition, but also holding those responsible for your asbestos exposure-related illness.
Do not delay – our legal team is prepared to stand by you and support you every step of the way as you or your loved one battles illness. To get started, we invite you to contact our team of highly skilled mesothelioma attorneys today at (304) 807-0739 to schedule a free initial consultation to evaluate your mesothelioma case.