Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a dangerous and often painful form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It occurs when these fibers collect in the chest cavity over time and begin to damage the mesothelium, a protective membrane that covers the lungs, heart, and abdomen. So far, asbestos exposure is the only established cause of this painful condition.
Sadly, mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat. One problem is that the symptoms are often mild or non-existent in the earlier stages of the disease. Even when patients seek medical care, mesothelioma can be difficult to distinguish from other illnesses, which delays diagnosis still further. If you have been experiencing symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, it is very important to alert your doctor to any asbestos exposure in your past. This can help speed up the diagnosis process.
Three Types of Mesothelioma
Once a case of mesothelioma has been diagnosed, doctors will divide it into one of three basic categories depending on the location of cancerous growths. These categories are:
Pleural Mesothelioma: This kind of mesothelioma attacks the pleura, a segment of the mesothelium that covers the lungs. It is the most commonly diagnosed form of mesothelioma, due to the fact that asbestos fibers often collect in the lungs when inhaled. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can include frequent coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. More pleural mesothelioma information is here.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma: The peritoneum is a segment of the mesothelium that covers and protects several abdominal organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines. Peritoneal mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that forms in this important membrane. Information about the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma and its treatments can be found here.
Pericardial Mesothelioma: This disease attacks the pericardium, a part of the mesothelium that covers the heart. Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest of the three types. Sadly, it is also known as the most difficult form of mesothelioma to treat. This page contains important information about the formation and treatment of pericardial mesothelioma.
Once a type of mesothelioma has been diagnosed, doctors will further divide it into more specific categories depending on the details of its progression. Two basic ways in which mesothelioma is labeled are:
- Metastatic Mesothelioma: This is mesothelioma that has spread to other parts of the body.
- Malignant Mesothelioma: This means that mesothelioma tumors are dividing and growing. It is far more dangerous than benign tumors, which do not grow or spread. Sadly, most cases of mesothelioma are malignant.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be difficult to confront. It is important to utilize mesothelioma resources to learn as much about the illness as you can. This will help you and your family make the best choices for your health and long-term plans. Contact the mesothelioma attorneys of Williams Kherkher by calling 800-781-3955 today if you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos.