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What Is Mesothelioma?
    - Symptoms
    - Causes
    - Types
    - Diagnosis

Mesothelioma Treatment
    - Treatment Options
    - Treatment Centers
    - Mesothelioma Specialists

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Types of Mesothelioma
The origin of the cancer can, in fact, vary. Mesothelioma, starts in and destroys the thin, protective tissue that lines major organs, including the lungs, stomach and heart. Mesothelioma originating in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity will lead to pleural mesothelioma, while mesothelioma originating in the peritoneum of the abdomen and stomach will have peritoneal mesothelioma. Individuals with mesothelioma originating in the pericardium around the heart will result in pericardial mesothelioma.
With symptoms occurring decades after the initial exposure, many individuals unfortunately do not finally seek medical attention until after the disease has progressed to more advance stages.
Pleural Mesothelioma:
With statistics demonstrating that nearly three-fourths of those mesothelioma cases diagnosed have a point of origin in the lungs and respiratory areas, pleural mesothelioma remains the most common form of mesothelioma cancer in the United States. This type of cancer originates in the pleura of the lungs and in some cases can advance from the lining of the chest cavity. The pleura are found between the lungs and chest cavity. This lubricated area is sometimes called a "protective shield" as it ensures the lungs do not chafe against the chest walls and cause irritation or chest pain.
Mesothelioma's potency often means that the disease quickly spreads throughout the chest and can infiltrate other organs as well. While citing a persistent pain in the chest as the most common symptom, in some cases people also have difficulty breathing as a result of pleural effusion. This is a result of an accumulation of fluid in the pleural area. This liquid build up also leads to lower back and side of chest pain with most patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma. Weight loss, fatigue, difficulties breathing, fever, and a variety of other symptoms can be connected to this type of mesothelioma.
Doctors have a variety of medical tests and measures to diagnose as well as to determine the severity of the disease. Many medical professionals use a combination of these tests including pathological tissue examination, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans, MRI's, Computed Chest Tomography (CT) scans, and X-rays. Professionals have found that the median survival is about 17 months from the beginning of symptoms. This number fluctuates with pleural mesothelioma, as the survival rate at three years is often cited as approximately 10% and generally stands at 5% for five years from the beginning of symptoms.
To learn more about pleural mesothelioma and your treatment options, please seek the consult of a medical profession as soon as possible.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma:
Accounting for nearly 20% of all cases, peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of malignant mesothelioma. Also derived from mesothelial cells, peritoneal mesothelioma affects the tissue that lines the abdominal wall. This lining protects the abdomen, liver, spleen, and bowel, while lubricating the organs so they move and function properly.
Pain is a common complaint in peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Symptoms often include abdominal pains, abdominal swelling, bowel obstruction, fever, weight loss and fluid buildup in the abdomen.
Like pleural mesothelioma, occupational and environmental asbestos exposure is responsible for peritoneal mesothelioma. Due to the more invasive nature of peritoneal mesothelioma, a shorter life expectancy for patients suffering from this type can generally be expected. Studies report that he median survival time for those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma is about 10 months from the onset of symptoms.
Pericardial Mesothelioma:
The most rare and devastating form of malignant mesothelioma is pericardial. Only affecting approximately 5% of all cases diagnosed each year, pericardial tumors originate in the pericardium and spread over the surface of the heart, superior vena cava, the root of the aorta and the pulmonary trunk.
Similar to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma often include difficulty breathing, fatigue, severe chest pain and pleural effusion around the heart.
With the cancer not often diagnosed until it has reached the advanced stages, very few successful treatment strategies exist. Radiation and chemotherapy often offer little to no benefit. Unfortunately, because of the severity of the disease and ordinarily late discovery date, patient response to therapy is poor.

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