Benign mesothelioma is a noncancerous tumor of the pleura (lining of the lung and chest cavity).
Nonmalignant mesothelioma is usually a localized tumor that affects men more frequently than women. The tumor may grow to a large size and compress the lung, causing the symptoms of shortness of breath.
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Approximately half of mesothelioma patients are asymptomatic (show no symptoms of disease).
Exams and Tests
During a physical examination, the health care provider may notice a clubbed appearance of the fingers.
Tests that may show mesothelioma include the following:
- Chest x-ray
- CT scan of the chest
- Open lung biopsy
Surgery is usually necessary for a solitary tumor.
The outcome is expected to be good with prompt treatment. The condition may return in about 1 out of 10 cases. It may reoccur as long as 10 years later.
Pleural effusion (fluid escaping into the membranes around the lungs) is a complication.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you notice symptoms of mesothelioma.
Mason RJ, Murray J, VC Broaddus, Nadel J. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2005:2002.
Grainger RC, Allison D, Adam, Dixon AK. Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 4th ed. Orlando, Fl: Churchill Livingstone; 2001:339-341.
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