Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that originates from the mesothelium, a protective lining that sheaths the internal organs of the body. The different types of mesothelioma are terms used to differentiate where in the body the cancer exists.Learn what the different types of mesothelioma are and the treatments specific to them. Fill out our information form located below, and MesotheliomaSymptoms.com will overnight a detailed packet to you filled with factors concerning diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical trials.
Pleural mesothelioma typically develops within the chest cavity and lungs. The most common type of malignant mesothelioma, it often spreads to numerous other organs and lymph nodes in the body. The difficulty in diagnosing and detecting pleural mesothelioma makes treatment tougher. Symptoms such as chest pains, weight loss, and fever are far too common to be noticed as a precursor for cancer. More severe symptoms such as breathing difficulties and fluid buildup may not appear until after the disease has progressed. The survival rate for sufferers of pleural mesothelioma is tragically low. Only 8% live beyond 3–5 years after the onset of initial symptoms, and the average life expectancy is closer to 12 months.
The least common form of malignant mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma affects the heart. This rare form of cancer is found in the sac that surrounds the heart, also known as the pericardium. The cancer prevents the heart from transporting oxygen to the body efficiently, and as a result the patient’s body deteriorates from an elevated heart rate. Heart attack, nausea, chest pain, and shortness of breath are signs of pericardial mesothelioma.
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdominal area and can quickly spread to the liver, bowel, or spleen. Fluid buildup or severe stomach pain can be a sign of peritoneal mesothelioma, in addition to vomiting, bowel trouble, fever, and tumescent feet.
Malignant Versus Benign
The aforementioned types of mesothelioma are malignant forms and are thus the most dangerous. Malignant mesothelioma is often the product of asbestos inhalation by individuals who have worked or resided in areas not up to current health and safety standards. Since the disease has a high latency period, it is often not diagnosed until it has progressed far beyond any rectifiable measure.
As the name suggests, benign mesothelioma is a form of nonmalignant mesothelioma that is easily treatable. While benign tumors can at times be cancerous, unlike malignant mesothelioma, the tumors do not spread, making them easier to isolate and remove.
Mesothelioma in Uncommon Locations
In addition to pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, and benign mesothelioma, the cancer can also strike the ovaries and testes. These tumors originate in the membrane lining the organs. There are fewer than 100 total cases of testicular or ovarian mesothelioma, and symptoms are rarely identified. As a result, the prognosis for this type of mesothelioma is not promising. The effects of the disease are such that any individual who has had prolonged asbestos exposure or initial symptoms of mesothelioma should consult a doctor.