Signs and Symptoms

of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

The majority of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma experience shortness of breath and a third of patients experience chest pain. Patients may also experience weight loss, cough, weakness, fever, and loss of appetite. A pleural effusion (fluid between the lungs and chest wall) is also present in the majority of patients.1 Most patients have a significant history of asbestos exposure, which occurred 30-40 years prior to exhibiting signs of the disease. Men are three times more likely to have the disease than women because of work related exposure in high-risk occupations, such as mining, manufacturing, and ship construction.

Other Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Blood in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs)
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weigh loss
  • Loss of appetite

Next: Diagnosis & Tests


1 Ruffie P, Feld R, Minkin S, et al. Diffuse Malignant Mesothelioma of the Pleura in Ontario and Quebec: A Retrospective Study of 332 Patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 1989;7:1168-1168.