Unfortunately, many people do not begin to show clear symptoms of mesothelioma until the cancer has progressed to a late stage. Early symptoms may be relatively mild, and may be initially mistaken for the symptoms of other, less serious diseases. As a result, many patients in Hawai’i are not diagnosed until the mesothelioma is relatively advanced.
Thus, if you know that you or anyone in your household has been exposed to asbestos at Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Electric, or any other Hawaii job site, you should be sure to inform your doctor. It is important for your doctor to know about your history of asbestos exposure so that he or she is aware that you are at risk for mesothelioma. In addition, you should go to the doctor immediately if you begin to show any of the symptoms of malignant mesothelioma. Even if the symptoms seem tolerable at first, it is important to have them checked by a medical professional.
Possible warning signs for pleural mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in your chest
- Persistent dry cough or change in the way you cough
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Prolonged hoarseness
- Fever and/or night sweats
- Blood in your sputum
- Weight loss for no known reason
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away.