Prior exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma cancer. People working in asbestos environment used to inhale asbestos dust and fibers, which will cause mesothelioma. Malignant cells develop in the protective lining covering most of the internal organs and cause mesothelioma. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma cancer is of two types - (1) Pleural - it affects pleura, which is outer lining of lungs and chest cavity. (2) Peritoneal mesothelioma – peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (sac surrounding heart).
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are – chest wall pain, pleural outpouring, cough, hoarseness and shortness of breath, all due to accumulation of fluid in pleural space. Many tumor masses get developed in severe cases. Collapse of lungs or Pneumothorax is other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.
Weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity) are symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Blood clotting abnormality, bowel obstruction, anemia and fever are some other symptoms.
Tumors affecting abdominal cavity do not produce symptoms until the late stage. It causes abdominal pain ascites, abnormal buildup of fluid in abdomen that cause abdominal problems and weight loss. A mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs.
Thrombophlebitis disseminated intra-vascular coagulation due to blood clots in veins is another symptom of mesothelioma. This may cause harsh bleeding in body organs, jaundice, yellowish eyes and skin, low blood sugar level and blood clots in arteries of lungs