Identifying Symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma By Stage, Type & Spread

By Stage

In early stages of the cancer, usually stages I and II, a patient may show symptoms like:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficult breathing
  • Dry cough and wheezing
  • Pain in chest and abdomen
  • Pleural effusion or fluid in the sac surrounding the lungs

In stage III and IV of mesotheloma, which are considered the end stages of the disease, a patient will begin to show symptoms which include:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased pain
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Respiratory complications

By Type

Depending on the type of mesothelioma an individual suffers from they may experience symptoms that vary. For instance, if you have pleural mesothelioma, the symptoms include:

  • Chest pains
  • Body aches
  • Harsh or faint breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Pleural effusions
  • Dry cough or wheezing
  • Reduced chest expansion

Symptoms alone may not help to determine how far the cancer has progressed or the exact stage it is in at that time. It has however been found that most patients only come to know (through diagnosis) that they have mesothelioma when it has reached stage III or IV.

The earlier a patient is diagnosed of mesothelioma and any other form of cancer, the better the disease’s prognosis. Treating symptoms soon they are detected may help with medical outcomes in patients suffering from mesothelioma. When the symptoms are detected and proper treatment provided early in advance before the disease has progressed, it helps improve the quality of life the patient leads and the individual may live longer.

By Spread

The spread of other forms of cancers may manifest with symptoms like having nerve pain that tends to shoot down an individual’s arm, however, with mesothelioma, this may not always show up. What you need to understand is that mesothelioma spreads locally throughout the abdominal and chest cavity often rather than spreading to other locations in the entire body.

If there is local invasion of mesothelioma, symptoms may include horne’s syndrome or nerve damage to the face, laryngeal nerve palsy or hoarseness, dysphagial or difficulty swallowing, nerve involvement, especially of the arm, and superior vena cava syndrome or obstructing of the vein responsible in returning blood from to the heart from the upper body.


  1. Warning Signs of Mesothelioma.
  2. Mesothelioma – Chest Pain.

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