Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare and highly aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma can strike three main parts of the body, but can quickly spread elsewhere. In all cases, mesothelioma develops in the cells that line organs, known as the mesothelial cells. These linings help protect the organs and hold them in the proper position in the body. Mesothelioma can affect the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Learn more about the different types of mesothelioma.
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Pleural mesothelioma affects the cellular lining that encompasses the lungs, known as the pleura. This is the most common form of mesothelioma cancer.
As is the case with all forms of mesothelioma, a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis can be particularly difficult to reach. This is in part because mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, and also because pleural mesothelioma symptoms are very similar to those associated with the flu or the common cold. Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include difficulty breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a dry cough.
To reach a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis, doctors will perform a variety of tests. A blood test will be used to determine whether the patient has any cancerous cells. This may be followed by a CT scan, X-ray, or MRI so that the doctor can obtain a clear image of the affected lung or lungs. A biopsy will most likely be performed, testing the cells in tumors or fluids found in the pleural mesothelium
Treatment of pleural mesothelioma is difficult, because most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. In some early cases, surgery may be helpful; in most cases, however, palliative treatments are all that can be offered.
The peritoneum is the lining that protects the abdominal organs and holds them in place. When a patient has peritoneal mesothelioma, the cells of this abdominal lining reproduce too quickly and cause the buildup of scar tissue, excess fluid, and tumors that inhibit organ function.
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms, like the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, are often mild and thus can be mistaken for another illness. This often leads to a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of this form of cancer include, fatigue, change in bowel habits, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is difficult to treat because it is often diagnosed at a late stage, when it has already had the chance to spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, surgery can offer a temporary solution, and radiation and chemotherapy can also be helpful in the reduction of symptoms for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.
Pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart, which is known as the pericardium. This is an incredibly rare form of mesothelioma cancer, affecting only 1 to 5 percent of patients.
Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms can include heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are caused by pressure on the heart that is the result of excess fluid and cells in the pericardium.
Pericardial mesothelioma treatment is especially difficult because of the proximity of this form of cancer to the heart. Pericardial mesothelioma is not often diagnosed early enough to make surgery a good option, but cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are often performed on pericardial mesothelioma patients.
Florida Mesothelioma Lawyers who Care
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we understand the emotional, physical, and financial strain the disease has burdened you with. At our Florida mesothelioma law firm, each lawyer has dedicated years to studying mesothelioma in order to better protect the rights of mesothelioma patients. A mesothelioma diagnosis is life-changing. You need to know that you have the right to hold the parties behind your exposure to asbestos responsible for the pain they have caused you and your family. To learn more about your rights and mesothelioma lawsuit eligibility, contact a Florida mesothelioma lawyer at our firm today.