Dec 05, 2011 - 4:43 am
Mesothelioma is a cancer in the lining of the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, side or back pain, fluid buildup, nausea and vomiting. Mesothelioma cancers have a long latency, often not developing symptoms for decades after the initial exposure to asbestos. They are also difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms mimic a number of other, minor, conditions. Often, even after symptoms develop, patients won’t seek help for what they believe are mild colds or stomach ailments. For this reason, diagnosis usually doesn’t occur until the cancer is already in advanced stages, making treatment difficult.