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Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer involving the mesothelial cells of an organ, usually the lungs, heart, or abdominal organs caused by asbestos exposure. There are three main types of malignant mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial.

 

Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by Pleural mesothelioma refers to cancer of the outer lining of the lung and chest cavity (called the “pleura”). It is the most common form of mesothelioma and accounts for approximately 70% of all diagnoses.

 

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Typical pleural mesothelioma symptoms may include:
– difficulty breathing
– pain in the lower back or chest, which are typically caused by pleural effusion (see below)
– weight loss
– fever
– fatigue
– trouble swallowing
– night sweats
– cough
– general feeling of not being well
– occasionally, a patient may not have symptoms at diagnosis

If you or someone you love believes you may be at risk for pleural mesothelioma, contact your doctor or specialist immediately. Doctors will gather an asbestos exposure history from you, conduct an exam, and take tissue samples to determine your diagnosis.

 

Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Peritoneal mesothelioma refers to cancer of the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal wall (called the “peritoneum”). Peritoneal mesothelioma may result from coughing up and swallowing inhaled asbestos fibers. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of mesothelioma, accounting for approximately 10%-20% of mesothelioma diagnoses.

Typical peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may include:
– swelling
– pain due to accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (called ascites)
– weight loss
– a mass in the abdomen
– bowel obstruction
– blood clotting abnormalities
– anemia (a lowered red blood cell count)
– fever
Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other less serious conditions. Only a doctor or specialist can make a definitive diagnosis.

If you or someone you love believes you may be at risk for peritoneal mesothelioma, contact your doctor or specialist immediately. Doctors will gather an asbestos exposure history from you, conduct an exam, and take tissue samples to determine your diagnosis.

 

Pericardial Mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer often caused by asbestos exposure. Pericardial mesothelioma refers to cancer of the thin sac that surrounds the heart and the great blood vessels (called the “pericardium”). Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma, occurring less than 5% of mesothelioma cases.

Typical pericardial mesothelioma symptoms may include:
Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are typically non-specific and can resemble symptoms of several other cardiac conditions.
– shortness of breath
– irregular heartbeat
– heart palpitations
– chest pain

Please keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other less serious conditions. Only a doctor, or preferably a mesothelioma specialist, can make a definitive diagnosis.