What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that forms in the thin layer of tissue called the “mesothelium,” which covers most internal organs. In most cases, mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall, but it can also affect the heart and abdominal organs. It is often found in people who have been exposed to asbestos, which, when inhaled or ingested, can cause uncontrolled cell growth and ultimately lead to cancer.

Mesothelioma is aggressive and very difficult to treat by the time it is identified, at which point it is typically advanced. According to the American Cancer Society, many people experience symptoms for months before ever involving a doctor. However, if you are able to spot it and begin treatment right away, your odds of survival improve significantly. Because mesothelioma can affect multiple areas of the body, there are several groups of symptoms to watch out for:

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

This is the most common form of mesothelioma. Although it develops in the tissue around the lungs, not all of its symptoms are respiratory in nature. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may be experiencing symptoms of pleural mesothelioma if you are suffering from any of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Painful or dry coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid buildup in lungs
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Coughing up blood

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the organs in the abdomen and is very difficult to detect, because it shares symptoms with other illnesses such as influenza and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You may be seeing symptoms of abdominal mesothelioma if you experience any of the following:

  • Abdominal swelling, pain, or inflammation
  • Large lumps of abdominal tissue
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Epilepsy (this is rare, but does happen)

Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms

This is the rarest form of mesothelioma. It occurs when the tissue around the heart thickens, resulting in a decrease in cardiac function. Despite the fact that pericardial mesothelioma occurs in less than 1% of affected patients, people who have been exposed to asbestos at any point should keep an eye out for any of these potential indicators:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular or labored heartbeats

Aggressive Mesothelioma Attorneys in San Francisco

Mesothelioma is a life-changing diagnosis, regardless of whether it affects your lungs, abdomen, or heart. Its only confirmed cause is asbestos exposure, which often happens to people who work certain risky jobs or in certain dangerous environments. While it may be difficult to hold someone liable for your asbestos exposure years later, once mesothelioma has developed, it can be done and you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages. However, you will need an experienced legal team on your side in order to win.

Get in touch with our mesothelioma lawyers at Kaiser Gornick LLP today by calling . You can also contact us online to receive a complimentary consultation.