Many people in Missouri and Southern Illinois are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. While there are some screening tests for people with known exposure to asbestos, such as X-rays or CT scans, most cases of the disease are discovered when a patient visits his or her doctor with symptoms of the disease.

Medical experts recommend that individuals who have been exposed to asbestos learn about the potential signs of mesothelioma. In most cases, these signs will end up being caused by some other medical condition, but it’s important for people to be on the lookout for all new symptoms and report them to their doctors just to be safe.

Mesothelioma typically appears in the chest or abdomen. Symptoms of chest, or pleural, mesothelioma may include a persistent cough, fever, unintended weight loss, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and swelling of the face and arms. Meanwhile, symptoms of abdominal, or peritoneal, mesothelioma may include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, unintended weight loss and constipation.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses can take years to appear in affected patients. Individuals who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Likewise, people were exposed to asbestos in a rented apartment or on a leased property may also have grounds to pursue a financial settlement in court. A personal injury attorney could assess a victim’s case and advise the best course of legal action. If the attorney recommends filing a lawsuit, the claim could seek current and future medical expenses, lost wages and other losses related to a mesothelioma diagnosis.