Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an asbestos-caused disease that affects the membrane – the mesothelium – that lines the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Mesothelioma can be benign, meaning not cancerous, or malignant, which is cancerous. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Mesothelioma develops when asbestos fibers are inhaled and cannot be expelled by the body. The type of mesothelioma depends on where the fibers have lodged and have become trapped.
What are the types of mesothelioma?
There are three most common types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura, the membrane surrounding the lungs, inside the ribs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form, accounting for 75% of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include a persistent dry cough, pain and / or difficulty breathing, and constant chest pain.
The second most common form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma, cancer of the abdominal lining. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of mesothelioma cases are peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include pain in the abdomen, swelling, changes in bowel habits, nausea or vomiting, and weight loss.
A rare form of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma develops in the membrane surrounding the heart (the pericardium). Chest pain, difficulty breathing, and an irregular heartbeat are some of the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma.
Each of these types of mesothelioma is extremely difficult to treat. Because symptoms of mesothelioma generally do not show up until decades after exposure, by the time of diagnosis it is often too late for an optimistic prognosis. CT scans and MRIs, as well as biopsies of fluid and tissue, are used to make the diagnosis. Various treatment options are available, but mesothelioma has a very high mortality rate.
If you or a loved one has mesothelioma the asbestos attorneys at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, want to help. Call us toll free at 800-333-0000 or contact us online with our case submission form.