How to Detect Mesothelioma

By Larry Parr

  • Overview

    Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, its symptoms can be confused with those of other illnesses. Only a doctor looking at X-rays can tell for certain if you have mesothelioma. That said, there are several signs that can alert you to the possibility that you could have the disease, and that you should consult with a doctor.
    • Step 1

      Assess your risk of contracting mesothelioma. Have you been exposed to asbestos? People who have worked on cars (especially brakes) or with ceiling tiles, or who worked in shipyards prior to the 1980s are all at increased risk.
    • Step 2

      List your symptoms. While mesothelioma does not always present any symptoms, many times, sufferers exhibit shortness of breath (known as dyspnea); a mild, stabbing chest pain; and dry cough. Less common symptoms include swelling and pain in the abdomen; fever; weight loss; night sweats; and swelling of the feet.

    • Step 3

      Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you have a past history of exposure to asbestos. Your doctor will order a chest X-Ray taken. This is the only way of accurately diagnosing mesothelioma.
    • Skill: Challenging
    • Tip: Do not attempt to diagnose mesothelioma on your own. If you have reason to suspect that mesothelioma is a possible cause of one or more of the symptoms you are experiencing, see a doctor immediately and express your concerns.

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