Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that originates from the mesothelioma, a protective lining that covers the internal organs of the body. The different types of mesothelioma are terms used to differentiate where in the body the cancer is located. Learn what the different types of mesothelioma are and the treatments specific to them in this blog.
Pleural mesothelioma usually develops within the chest cavity and lungs. It is 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 difficult as well. Symptoms such as chest pains, weight loss, and fever are very common to be noticed as a precursor for cancer. More severe symptoms such as breathing difficulties and fluid buildup may not show up until after the disease has progressed. The survival rate for sufferers of pleural mesothelioma is very low. Only 8% live more than 3–5 years after the onset of initial symptoms, and the average life expectancy is closer to 12 months.
This is 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, 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 due to an elevated heart rate. Heart attack, nausea, chest pain, and shortness of breath are signs of this type of 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, as well as vomiting, bowel trouble, fever, and tumescent feet.
Malignant Vs Benign
The other types of mesothelioma are malignant forms and are 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.
Benign mesothelioma, on the other hand, 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 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 immediately.