What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma From Exposure To Asbestos?

January 16, 2014

While the use of asbestos in manufacturing and construction began being limited years ago, mesothelioma – which is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos – can take decades to develop.   As a result, personal injury claims related to asbestos exposure can be difficult, and Buffalo citizens who have been exposed to asbestos, even years ago, should be aware of the symptoms of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium – the lining around the abdominal and thoracic organs. The most common form is called pleural mesothelioma because it appears in the pleural membranes enclosing the lungs.  It causes these membranes to thicken and become hard, making it difficult to breathe.  It also commonly causes excess fluids to accumulate around the lungs.  Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include a dry, persistent cough; shortness of breath; pain in the side of the chest; difficulty swallowing; fever and fatigue.  Early symptoms may mimic other illnesses, such as pneumonia or chronic bronchitis, making it difficult to diagnose.

The other two forms of mesothelioma are peritoneal mesothelioma – which affects the lining of the abdomen – and pericardial mesothelioma – which appears in the lining around the heart.  Peritoneal mesothelioma usually causes abdominal swelling and pain that may be mistaken for appendicitis, pancreatitis, or other gastrointestinal ailments.  Pericardial mesothelioma puts pressure on the heart.  Its symptoms include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and arrhythmia, persistent cough, chest pain and fatigue. Obviously, these symptoms mirror several other forms of heart disease.

While mesothelioma is extremely difficult to treat, early discovery may lead to more successful treatment. If you were exposed to asbestos – even if it was years ago – and have any questions regarding your legal rights, please feel free to call us at 716-400-0000.