Mesothelioma

Noticing symptoms

Mesothelioma

Noticing symptoms

Cancers and other diseases can cause symptoms. These are changes in your body that you notice. Examples of symptoms are having a cough, a pain or a lump.  

Symptoms can be caused by many illnesses, not just cancer, but it is always best to have them checked out by a GP. 

What you need to know

Symptoms of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma starts in mesothelial tissue that lines the inside of the chest and abdomen and covers the body’s internal organs.

There are two main types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma starts in the pleura which line the chest cavity and cover the lungs.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma starts in the peritoneum which lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the organs in the abdomen.

Mesothelioma can also start in the covering of the heart (pericardium) or the covering of the testicles, but these types are very rare.

Symptoms of mesothelioma are often vague and depend on where the mesothelioma is in the body.

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms may include:

  • breathlessness
  • pain in the chest or ribs
  • a dry cough
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • excessive sweating
  • feeling tired
  • difficulty swallowing
  • a hoarse voice.

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may include:

  • swelling or bloating of the abdomen
  • abdominal pain
  • changes in the way the bowel works
  • reduced appetite
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • feeling tired.

Next steps

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that you are worried about, even if they seem minor, you should go to see a GP. Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. 

Remember, cancers that are found earlier can be easier to treat.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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