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Mesothelioma symptoms

In its early stages, mesothelioma does not have many symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they are often caused by the cancer growing and pressing on a nerve or other body organ.

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are pain in the lower back or the side of the chest, a persistent cough, shortness of breath, a hoarse or husky voice, losing more than 10% of your weight when not dieting, difficulty swallowing, sweating and high temperatures.

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are pain in the abdomen (tummy), swelling in the abdomen, feeling or being sick, poor appetite, losing more than 10% of your weight when not dieting, diarrhoea or constipation.

All of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by some other illness, rather than by mesothelioma. But if you have these symptoms, see your doctor. This is particularly important if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.

 

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Symptoms in the early stages of mesothelioma

In its early stages, mesothelioma does not have many symptoms, whether it is in the chest (pleura) or the abdomen (peritoneum). When symptoms do develop, they are often caused by the cancer growing and pressing on a nerve or other body organ. The symptoms mentioned below can be caused by illnesses other than mesothelioma. But if you have these symptoms, see your doctor. This is particularly important if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.

 

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are

  • Pain in the lower back or the side of the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating and high temperatures
  • A persistent cough
  • Losing more than 10% of your weight when not dieting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A hoarse or husky voice

Some people have changes in the shape of their fingers and nails called finger clubbing, but this is not common.

 

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are

  • Pain in the abdomen (tummy)
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Poor appetite
  • Losing more than 10% of your weight when not dieting
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
 

More information

The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful. So it is important that you go to your GP as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.

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Updated: 17 December 2013