At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre we know that a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event. We also know that every cancer is different, just like every person is different. We are dedicated to supporting and guiding you throughout your care. On this page you can learn about symptoms of mesothelioma and the potential treatment pathway.

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What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take a long time to develop, meaning it may not begin until years or even decades after asbestos exposure. Mesothelial cells are the cells that form a lining for the outside of most of the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal mesothelial cells. It usually develops in the lining on the outside of the lungs. This is called pleural mesothelioma. It sometimes develops in the lining of the abdomen. When this happens it is called peritoneal mesothelioma.

What are the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma?

If you have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor. These symptoms may also occur for ailments other than cancer. Your doctor will advise if you need tests and where you should go to have these tests. 

  • Shortness of breath that gets worse when being active or lying down.
  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the upper arm or shoulder blade area
  • Appetite loss
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unusual cough or a cough that won’t go away
  • Night sweating

What are the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma?

  • Swelling or pain in the belly
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Bowel or bladder problems
This information should not be used to replace medical advice.

Specialist Clinics

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Can I be treated at the ONJ Centre?

Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.

how to get a referral