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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Mesothelioma: Causes and Symptoms

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma symptoms commonly do not appear until 20 to 50 years after initial asbestos exposure.

The main symptoms of mesothelioma of the lungs are shortness of breath and chest pain. Accumulation of fluid in the pleura caused by the mesothelioma, if sufficiently large, may also contribute to the shortness of breath. 

Symptoms of peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Swelling and pain in the abdomen
  • Blood clotting abnormalities
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Anemia
  • Fever

If cancer has spread to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, swallowing difficulties, or swelling of the neck or face.

Because many conditions share these symptoms, having these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you have mesothelioma. It's important to see your doctor to determine what is causing them.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 28, 2014

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