Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that forms in the lining of different internal organs.
Other types of mesothelioma can also begin in linings around the heart or testicles.
Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
According to Cancer.net, sometimes people who have mesothelioma don’t experience any symptoms, or their symptoms are the result of a different medical condition. Oftentimes, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until the patient has had the disease for years.
If mesothelioma is in the chest area, the symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pleural effusion, fluid buildup in the chest
- Chest pain
If mesothelioma is in the abdominal area, the symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites, abdominal swelling from fluid buildup.
- Bowel obstruction
General symptoms of mesothelioma may include:
- Weight loss
- Problems with blood clotting
- Night sweats
Risk Factors of Mesothelioma
According to Cancer.net, the following factors can raise a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma:
- Asbestos exposure: asbestos is a group of minerals found in the earth. People who work with asbestos can breathe in or swallow the fibers. Between 70% to 80% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos.
- Smoking: by itself, smoking doesn’t increase the risk of mesothelioma, but the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure can increase a person’s risk.
- Radiation exposure: radiation exposure may cause mesothelioma.
- Genetics: Around 1% of people with mesothelioma have inherited mesothelioma. This is usually caused by a mutation or change in a gene.
For more information on mesothelioma, visit www.MayoClinic.org.