If you have reason to believe that you had asbestos exposure, you could be at risk for developing mesothelioma.
According to the Mesothelioma Center, patients with pleural mesothelioma tend to have respiratory symptoms. While respiratory symptoms can occur with various conditions, patients with asbestos exposure may want to seek diagnostics regularly to catch the illness early.
Beginning stages of mesothelioma
The beginning stages of mesothelioma refer to stages one and two. Physicians determine the stage of mesothelioma by the size of your tumors and how far they spread.
In the early stages of mesothelioma, you may experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and a dry cough. Other symptoms include pain in your abdomen or chest and fluid buildup in your lungs. Generally, the tumors stay small in the early stages and patients rarely have symptoms. As the tumors grow, they pressure the nearby organs.
Later stages of mesothelioma
In later stages of mesothelioma, respiratory complications become more common. Patients experience anemia, fatigue, weight loss and difficulty swallowing food. Patients can also experience bowel obstruction and increased pain in the chest. As the tumors spread, the lungs have problems expanding. You suffer difficulty breathing and chest pain when your lungs cannot grow. Chest pain also occurs when the tumors press the chest wall and surrounding nerves.
To handle the symptoms of mesothelioma, physical therapy and medication can help. Some treatment options focus on controlling the symptoms.
The earlier you catch the condition, the more likely you can treat it aggressively and increase your chances of living a higher quality of life.