Mesothelioma Symptoms & Causes Overview

Writer : Dr. Cristine Naskan

Mesothelioma Symptoms and causes Overview. One of the most common forms of cancer in the thin layer of tissue covering most of your internal organs is malignant mesothelium (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is a particularly deadly and aggressive form of cancer. Despite the fact that many people with mesothelioma can be treated, a cure isn't always possible.

Depending on where in the mesothelium the cancer has spread, doctors can classify mesothelioma into different subtypes. The lung tissue is the most commonly affected by mesothelioma (pleura). Pleural mesothelioma is the name given to this type. Mesothelioma can also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen), in the heart, and in the testicles.


As the cancer progresses, the disease's symptoms and signs become more pronounced.

The following are possible signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Coughing that hurts
  • Breathlessness
  • On your chest, you may notice unusual lumps of tissue beneath the skin.
  • Weight loss that isn't explained

There are many signs and symptoms associated with peritoneal cancer, which affects abdominal tissue.

  • Inflammation of the abdomen
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss that isn't explained

Mesothelioma in other organ systems

The symptoms and signs of other forms of mesothelioma are unknown because these forms of the disease are extremely rare.

If you have pericardial cancer, which affects the tissue that surrounds your heart, you may experience breathing difficulties and chest pains.

Tunica vaginalis tunica vaginalis mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the testicles, may first appear as a mass or swelling on a testicle.

Consult a physician when:

If you notice any symptoms or signs that concern you, contact your doctor. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are not unique to this disease and are more likely to be caused by other conditions because of the disease's rarity. Ask your doctor to examine any symptoms that seem out of the ordinary or bothersome. Asbestos exposure should be reported to your doctor.


In most cases, cancer develops as a result of a series of changes (mutations) to the DNA of a cell. The instructions for a cell's actions are contained in the DNA. To grow and multiply uncontrollably, mutations tell the cell to do so. A tumor is formed as a result of the growth of abnormal cells.

Exactly how mesothelioma begins is unknown, but researchers have identified factors that may increase a person's risk of developing the disease. Cancers are most likely the result of a complex interplay between a person's genetics, environment, health, and dietary habits.

Risk factors

Risk factors for mesothelioma include exposure to asbestidous materials

Asbestos is thought to be the primary cause of most mesotheliomas. Natural asbestos is a mineral that can be found all around us. A wide range of products, including insulation, brakes and shingles, can benefit from the strength and heat resistance of asbestos fibers.

Asbestos dust may be generated when asbestos is mined or when asbestos insulation is removed. Asbestos fibers can lodge in the lungs or stomach after being inhaled or swallowed, where they can irritate the lungs or stomach and eventually cause mesothelioma. It's not clear how this works. Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma to develop over a period of 20 to 60 years.

The vast majority of people who are exposed to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma at all. These findings suggest that a person's risk of developing mesothelioma may depend on a number of different factors. For example, you might be born with a tendency to develop cancer, or you could be predisposed to another condition that increases your risk.

Risk factors for developing mesothelioma include:

  • Asbestos-related illnesses in the past. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, the risk of developing mesothelioma rises dramatically.
  • Asbestos-home worker's life is hazardous. Asbestos fibers can be carried home on the skin and clothing of those who have been exposed to it.. Mesothelioma is a cancer that can be caused by long-term exposure to stray fibers in the home. Prior to leaving the workplace, people who come into contact with asbestos should shower and change into new clothing to avoid bringing home asbestos fibers.
  • A history of mesothelioma in one's immediate or extended family members. Mesothelioma is more likely to strike you if one of your family members has the disease.
  • In-patient chest radiation therapy. A higher risk of developing mesothelioma may be present if you have undergone radiation treatment for cancer of the upper respiratory system.


Mesothelioma that has spread to the chest puts pressure on nearby organs. Complications that may arise as a result of this include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Having a hard time swallowing
  • Pressure on the spinal cord and nerves causes pain.
  • Pleural effusion is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the pleural space, resulting in a suffocated lung and difficulty breathing.


Mesothelioma risk can be reduced by avoiding asbestos exposure.

Check to see if you're exposed to asbestos in your line of work.

The majority of people who develop mesothelioma do so as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos fibers. The following types of workers may be exposed to asbestos fibers:

  • Miners of asbestos
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers\sPipefitters
  • Insulators
  • Workers in shipyards
  • Those who perform demolition work.
  • Mechanics of brakes
  • Selected members of the armed forces
  • Contractors who work on homes

Consult with your boss to see if you're at risk of being exposed to asbestos at work.

Comply with your company's safety guidelines.

Wearing protective gear, such as a hard hat, is an important part of keeping yourself and your coworkers safe. Before going home for the day or taking a lunch break, you may be required to shower and change out of your work clothes. If you're concerned about asbestos exposure, talk to your doctor about additional safety measures.

Use caution when dealing with asbestos in your own home.

It's possible that asbestos is present in older homes and buildings. Asbestos removal is often more hazardous than leaving it in place. Asbestos fibers can be inhaled if they are released into the air during the removal process. Asbestos detection experts should be consulted. The air in your home may be tested by these experts to see if the asbestos poses a health hazard. Hire a professional to remove asbestos from your home if you don't want to risk doing it yourself.


Read more:

Mesothelioma Cancer