Mesothelioma is the cancer most associated with exposure to asbestos. Like most cancers, mesothelioma has several forms of cellular structure — and several common points where it appears in the body.
For example, pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining of the chest cavity around the lungs. This is the most common form of the cancer.
Second-most common is peritoneal mesothelioma, which attacks the lining of the abdominal cavity. The rarest form, pericardial mesothelioma, is a cancer of the sac surrounding the heart.
Pleural mesothelioma, cancer of the lining around the lungs, hinders lung function, leading to the disease being misdiagnosed as a common cold, pneumonia, influenza or bruised or fractured ribs. In some cases, patients demonstrate no symptoms of the illness whatsoever.
If the cancer is in the lining of the stomach, it can mimic a variety of illnesses. Symptoms include pains, nausea, vomiting, weakness, weight loss and other, generalized gastro-intestinal problems.
If the cancer is in the heart’s lining, it can mimic other cardiac conditions, causing shortness of breath, chest pains, coughing or an irregular heartbeat.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of all three forms are subtle. Because they can mimic the symptoms of a host of less-serious illnesses, the disease can get a big head start before treatment begins. Further complicating diagnosis, and patient awareness of a problem, is the fact that it can be decades between the time the person was exposed to asbestos and when the cancer causes symptoms or is detected.
If you would like more information, please call an experienced asbestos lawyer at 855.546.4600 or visit our website, Asbestos Answers Now.