Monday, March 12, 2012

The 4 Main Types of Mesothelioma - A Closer Look at How They Are Different

Mesothelioma is the general term used for any type of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, which is the tissue that surrounds one's vital organs. While all forms of mesothelioma are a result of exposure to asbestos, a toxic chemical found in many locations, there is more than one type of this form of cancer.

As the mesothelium tissue can be found in many parts of the body, the cancer that develops in this tissue can also be found in different areas. Accordingly, there are four types of mesothelioma currently recognized by medical professionals: testicular, pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural. These names refer to the area of the body in which the cancer is concentrated.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular refers to the testicles, so this form of mesothelioma affects the tissue found in this part of the male anatomy. This is the least common form of the disease, and as such, there is not a great deal of information available on prevalence statistics or common treatments. There have been less than one hundred cases of this type of mesothelioma reported at this point.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Also one of the more rare forms of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma affects the mesothelium found around the heart. The symptoms, which include a persistent cough, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, problems breathing, and chest pain, are difficult to differentiate from those of pleural mesothelioma.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The peritoneum refers to the lining of the abdominal cavity, which is why the cancer that occurs in this tissue is referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. This cancer affects the tissues surrounding the organs found in the abdomen, including the stomach and intestines. Peritoneal mesothelioma is more common than either testicular or pericardial mesothelioma, accounting for somewhere between ten and twenty percent of the total number of mesothelioma cases reported. Some symptoms of this form of cancer include pain or swelling in the abdomen, bowel issues, anemia, problems breathing, nausea, blood clotting, loss of appetite, vomiting, and chest pains.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Approximately three quarters of all mesothelioma cases are pleural mesothelioma, making this the most common type of the disease. This type of cancer is concentrated in the tissues around the lungs and those that line the cavity in which the lungs are located. Patients with pleural mesothelioma notice symptoms because fluid builds up between the wall of the chest cavity and the lungs, which makes it harder for the lungs to function properly. Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include finding it hard to breath, pains in the chest area, and a persistent cough.

Each of these four types of mesothelioma is a serious condition. If you or someone you care about may have any form of this cancer, it is important to seek qualified legal advice from mesothelioma attorneys who have experience in this complex area of the law.

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