NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - page 16

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
Testing for
14 Symptoms of mesothelioma
15 Tests to confirm mesothelioma
18 Questions about testing to ask your
19 Websites | Review
Symptoms of mesothelioma
Testing for mesothelioma is done when certain
symptoms that may be caused by the cancer appear.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not show until
decades after contact with asbestos. Symptoms of
mesothelioma overlap with symptoms of other health
conditions, so only your doctor will be able to tell if
your symptoms are due to the cancer. The possible
symptoms of mesothelioma are listed in
Chart 1
Pleural effusion and thickening are two common
signs of asbestos exposure. Pleural effusion is the
buildup of extra fluid in the pleural cavity. The pleural
cavity is the space between the two pleural layers
(tissue lining around the lungs). Pleural effusion is
often the earliest sign of asbestos-related disease.
Pleural thickening is widespread scarring of the
pleural tissue. Pleural plaques are concentrated areas
of pleural thickening. Pleural plaques are the most
common sign of asbestos-related disease, but are not
believed to lead to cancer.
It is recommended that you get
tested for mesothelioma if you have
had pleural effusion more than once,
have pleural thickening, or both.
Chart 1. Symptoms of mesothelioma
Trouble breathing,
Chest pain,
A mass under the skin in the chest,
Unplanned weight loss,
Excessive sweating,
Lasting cough, and
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