If you are a current or former worker in New York who may be at risk for developing mesothelioma, you probably want to know what types of symptoms to watch for. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common type of mesothelioma is the pleural variety, so called because it affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, which is known as the pleura. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma can affect the heart, the abdomen or the testicles in male patients.

Because pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs and surrounding tissues, it can result in respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, painful coughing and chest pain. You may also experience unexplained weight loss and unusual lumps under the skin on your chest.

Left untreated, pleural mesothelioma can spread quickly and put pressure on structures inside the torso. This can cause additional complications. An example would be pleural effusion or a buildup of fluid in the chest. Pleural effusion is a serious condition because it can compress the lung, preventing it from expanding and making it more difficult for you to breathe. You may also experience difficulty swallowing and pressure on the spinal cords and nerves, causing pain.

The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. This puts you at greater risk if you currently work, or have worked, in professions that might put you in contact with asbestos, such as insulators, plumbers, electricians and home remodelers. You may also be at risk if you currently live with someone employed in one of these professions or have done so in the past. Asbestos fibers can cling to the clothing or skin of people involved in these professions, who may unwittingly bring them home and expose other members of the household.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.