One of the reasons that doctors may struggle to diagnose mesothelioma is the variety of ways that it can present. Much like skin cancer, mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the lining of the body’s internal organs, which means that it can form in various places in the body. Just as skin cancer can develop on the nose, the arm, the leg, or anywhere else where there’s skin, mesothelioma can form around the lungs, the heart, and the abdomen, and each type will present with different symptoms.
In pleural mesothelioma, early symptoms are easy to dismiss because they’re so typical for minor ailments. Tightness or pain in the chest, fever, and weight loss are typical early symptoms that you and your doctor may easily ascribe to many other factors. By the time more significant symptoms have developed – including fluid buildup in the lungs leading to difficulty breathing – the cancer may have spread to other areas of the body, including the lymph nodes.
Pericardial mesothelioma can be even more difficult for doctors to diagnose. Symptoms of this abdominal presentation can include abdominal pain, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Later in the progression of the disease, fluid buildup will become obvious, and infiltration to organs like the liver and bowel may already have happened.
More rarely, mesothelioma can develop in the lining of the heart, or pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma can present with shortness of breath and chest pain in its early stages, but if not caught and treated, can cause symptoms as severe as heart attacks.
If you have symptoms of mesothelioma, or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the attorneys at The Gertler Law Firm can help you get the compensation you need to fight the disease, protect your family, and leave a legacy for your children. Call us today at (504) 581-6411 for a free consultation with a New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer.