Mesothelioma of the lung is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lung, also known as the pleura. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries until the 1970s. Mesothelioma of the lung is often difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to those of other respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. However, early detection is crucial for effective treatment, so it is important to be aware of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma of the lung.
Shortness of breath
One of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma of the lung is shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea. This occurs when the tumor grows and puts pressure on the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Shortness of breath may worsen over time and can be accompanied by wheezing, coughing, and chest pain.
Chest pain is another common symptom of mesothelioma of the lung. It is often described as a dull, aching pain in the chest or back that may worsen with deep breathing or coughing. Chest pain can be caused by the tumor pressing against the chest wall or nerves in the area.
A persistent cough is another common symptom of mesothelioma of the lung. The cough may produce mucus or blood and may worsen over time. Coughing can be caused by irritation or inflammation in the lungs and airways due to the tumor.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many types of cancer, including mesothelioma of the lung. It is characterized by a feeling of extreme tiredness and lack of energy that does not improve with rest. Fatigue can be caused by the body’s immune response to the cancer or by the cancer’s effect on the body’s metabolism.
Unintentional weight loss is another common symptom of mesothelioma of the lung. This occurs when the body’s metabolism is affected by the cancer, causing a loss of appetite and difficulty in absorbing nutrients from food. Weight loss may also be caused by the body’s immune response to the cancer.
Swelling of the face and arms
In some cases, mesothelioma of the lung can cause swelling of the face and arms. This occurs when the tumor grows and puts pressure on the veins in the chest, causing a backup of fluid in the upper body. Swelling may also be accompanied by pain and a feeling of tightness in the affected area.
Hoarseness and difficulty swallowing
Hoarseness and difficulty swallowing are less common symptoms of mesothelioma of the lung. They occur when the tumor grows and presses on the nerves and muscles that control the voice box and throat. These symptoms may also be caused by the tumor spreading to other areas of the body.
In conclusion, mesothelioma of the lung is a rare and aggressive cancer that can be difficult to diagnose due to its nonspecific symptoms. However, awareness of the most common symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss, swelling of the face and arms, and hoarseness and difficulty swallowing, can help with early detection and treatment. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.