In this article, we will discuss the Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma (Malignant). So, let’s get started.
Symptoms of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma are non-specific and may mimic other respiratory disease. Common symptoms includes breathlessness, chest pain, weight loss and fatigue.
Symptoms or clinical features may be due to Ipsilateral Pleural Involvement (Parietal/Visceral), Intrathoracic Spread, Trans-Diaphragmatic Extension, Distant Spread, and Paraneoplastic Syndromes.
Shortness of breath is often initially due to pleural effusion; encasement caused by growing intrathoracic tumor is the major cause of breathlessness as disease progresses.
Thoracic pain is common and multifactorial in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Tumour invasion of chest wall may cause bone pain and neuropathic pain when tumour invades neural intercostal, paravertebral or brachial plexus structures.
Symptoms associated with advanced stage of disease include weight loss, fatigue, cachexia, fevers and night
sweats; at this stage thrombocytosis,
hypoalbuminemia, elevated ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and anemia are often detected.
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma initially occurs unilaterally and local invasion of neighbouring structures including lymph node involvement may result in superior vena cava syndrome, pericardial effusion and subsequent cardiac tamponade, spinal cord compression as well as a subcutaneous involvement. The affected site becomes fixed and cannot expand. Further MPM progression may involve invasion of contralateral pleural cavity and peritoneum. Compared with lung cancer, distant metastases are usually rare since patients die before metastases occur.
Asymptomatic patients appear to have longer survival than symptomatic patients, probably because they are diagnosed earlier in the disease process. For this reason, it is important to carefully assess patients with a background of previous asbestos exposure who present with an unexplained pleural effusion. A proportion of these patients will develop Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma over time, and regular follow-up increases the chance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment.