Common Malignant Mesothelioma Symptoms
The onset of symptoms is insidious, and patients often experience symptoms for 4-6 months before the diagnosis is made.
The most common symptoms are the following:
Recent onset of shortness of breath
Patients with peritoneal involvement experience symptoms as follows:
Abdominal pain (60%)
Abdominal distention (56%)
In the US: Annual incidence of mesothelioma is 7-13 per 1,000,000 male patients with a history of asbestos exposure. Approximately 1 in 1,000,000 North American patients with no asbestos exposure present with mesothelioma per year. The incidence of mesothelioma is lower in women than in men, probably because fewer women than men worked outside the home in the mid-20th century; therefore, they were exposed less to asbestos.
The incidence of mesothelioma is highest in the Pacific and mid-Atlantic states and may be related to the location of industries such as shipyards.
The incidence of mesothelioma in women is 2/1,000,000/year and in men
is 10-30/1,000,000/year in industrialized countries where asbestos was
used widely. The incidence of mesothelioma varies greatly among nations
and is difficult to document in countries without mesothelioma registries.
In France, an estimated 950 new patients are seen per year. In the United
Kingdom (where a mesothelioma registry exists), incidence is expected
to peak in the year 2020 at 2700 deaths per year and is expected to decline
Malignant mesothelioma usually is fatal. Death usually occurs within 18 months of first onset of symptoms. Mesothelioma usually presents 30-40 years after asbestos exposure.
Source: (Cancer 1986 Oct 1; 58(7): 1540-51)