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Asbestos Exposure Symptoms

Asbestos exposure has been conclusively linked to three primary diseases: Mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis. While each of these diseases affects the body in different ways, many of the symptoms associated with them are the same. Unfortunately, the symptoms are also related to other common illnesses such as colds, flu and heart ailments; because asbestos-related disease usually takes more than 20 years to develop after asbestos exposure, the symptoms are often ignored.

 

Box: If you have been exposed to asbestos at any time in your life and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it’s important to seek immediate treatment. The Mesothelioma Options Help Center provides personalized and caring service to help you find a doctor near you and assist you in making the best choices for you and your family.

 

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. The three most common types of mesothelioma are pleural (lungs), peritoneal (abdomen) and pericardial (heart). Pleural mesothelioma is the most common, comprising more than 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases.

 

Symptoms of mesothelioma may include the following:

 

Pleural mesothelioma

  • Fluid in chest
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain at rib cage, in the lower back, or at the side of the chest
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Swelling of the face and arms
  • Lumps under the skin
  • Generalized fatigue

Peritoneal mesothelioma

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Coughing without signs of respiratory infection
  • Pain in chest or abdomen
  • The abdomen becomes swollen and taut (indicating fluid buildup)
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hoarse or husky voice
  • Difficulty swallowing

Pericardial mesothelioma

 

  • Moderate to severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Persistent coughing
  • Extreme fatigue after minimal exertion

 

Asbestos Lung Cancer

 

Asbestos lung cancer differs from mesothelioma in that cancer tumors are found in the lung itself rather than the lining of the lung. Asbestos lung cancer occurs more frequently when asbestos exposure is combined with a history of smoking. Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer may include:

 

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough, or coughing blood
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Hoarseness or bronchitis
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss

 

Asbestosis

 

Asbestosis is a non-malignant scarring of the lungs (known as pulmonary fibrosis) that, like mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer, results from exposure to asbestos. As scar tissue develops, it constricts the ability of the lungs to expand. While more manageable and not as deadly, asbestosis is progressive and worsens over time with potentially fatal results. Asbestosis can also develop into asbestos lung cancer in some patients. Symptoms of asbestosis can include:

 

  • Shortness of breath, especially after exercising
  • Persistent coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Finger deformity (clubbing)
  • Chronic fatigue

 

To learn more about the symptoms and treatment of mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis as well as all your medical, financial and legal options, contact the Mesothelioma Options Help Center today or sign up for a free information packet.