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Find out about the symptoms of mesothelioma and when to see your doctor.

Early stages

In its early stages mesothelioma does not have many symptoms. This is true whether it is in your chest (pleural mesothelioma) or your abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).

When mesothelioma symptoms do develop, they are often caused by the cancer growing and pressing on a nerve or another body organ.

The symptoms below can be caused by illnesses other than mesothelioma. But if you have these symptoms, see your doctor – particularly if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are:
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness (fatigue)
  • sweating and high temperatures
  • a persistent cough
  • losing weight when not dieting
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty swallowing
  • a hoarse or husky voice

Some people have changes in the shape of their fingers and nails (called finger clubbing).

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are:
  • pain in the tummy (abdomen)
  • swelling in the abdomen
  • feeling or being sick
  • poor appetite
  • losing weight when not dieting
  • diarrhoea or constipation
When to see your doctor

You should see your doctor if you have if you have the above symptoms. Particularly if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it's important to get them checked by a doctor. The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.

Information and help

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About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.