Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the membrane (inner jaw) of the lung, abdomen or heart. Asbestos-induced, Mesothelioma has no known healing in chemical chemistry and has a very bad prognosis (unpredictable development).
According to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control, 2400-2800 people have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States every year. People who have worked with asbestos or are exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. After exposure to asbestos, symptoms of mesothelioma may appear 20 to 50 years later.
Life expectancy for patients with mesothelioma is poor, as there is no cure for the disease. The stage of the disease, cell type, and tumor location are the most important factors for a patient’s survival. Factors such as the general health of the patient, age, and whether the cancer is spread or not, also affect the prognosis.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are four main types of mesothelioma based on the place where a tumor develops first: pleural (in the lungs), peritoneal (abdomen), pericardial (in the heart), and testicular. In addition, mesothelioma can be categorized based on the cell type – epithelioid, sarcomatoid, or biphasic – and according to the malignancy.
Types of Mesothelioma by Location
The thin layer of tissue where mesothelioma develops, known as the mesothelium, is located in certain areas of the body, such as the breast area surrounding the lungs and the abdominal cavity. The most common way to classify mesothelioma is to determine where this mesothelioma layer originates from the disease.
- Pleural Mesothelioma (Of Lung)
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lung membrane (known as pleura). As the most common form of the disease, pleural mesothelioma accounts for about 80% of cases.
Pleural mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose. In the early stages of the disease, the symptoms tend to be mild, while at later stages (stage 3 or stage 4) the symptoms may deteriorate significantly. Unfortunately, as it is often diagnosed at a later stage, mesothelioma usually has a poor prognosis – most patients live less than 17 months from the time their first symptoms appear.
- Mesothelioma Peritoneale (and abdomenit)
Peritoneal mesothelioma has its origin in the abdominal membrane. It often spreads to the abdominal organs, including liver, spleen, and intestine. Severe abdominal pain is the most common symptom, followed by anxiety caused by fluid build-up (abdominal discharge).
Although the prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma is poor, it has improved somewhat in recent years, however, survival usually depends on the individual’s situation and on particular diagnostic factors.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)
Pericardial mesothelioma, which begins in the membrane of the heart cavity (pericardium), is unusual – comprising less than 1% of all cases of mesothelioma. While this rare cancer progresses, the heart becomes impossible to give oxygen to the body, causing further decline in health at an ever faster rate.
The most common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma imitate those of a heart attack, including chest pain and breathing. In many cases, pericardial mesothelioma goes without diagnosis until an autopsy is performed.
- Mesothelioma Testikulare
Testicular mesothelioma is a very rare form of the disease, with fewer than 100 cases diagnosed worldwide. Because there are so few incidents of this type of mesothelioma, little is understood as developing and there is no standard treatment course available.
In the next article you will read about other types of Mesothelioma.
- Types of Mesothelioma by Cells
- Types of Mesothelioma Tumors
- The most common symptoms of mesothelioma