What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer and of all asbestos related diseases, the most serious. The symptoms associated with the disease make it difficult for doctors to diagnose. Often, by the time that a proper diagnosis is made, the disease has progressed to a point where patients do not respond well to treatment therapy. Malignant mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by the inhalation of airborne asbestos particles. Another unique factor associated with the disease is that there can be a long latency period between the time an individual is exposed to asbestos and the actual manifestation of the disease in the form of malignant mesothelioma.
2、Pleural Mesothelioma – affects the chest and lungs
Malignant pleural mesothelioma often originates within the chest cavity and can, at times, involve the lung. This particular form of mesothelioma can metastasize to numerous organs in the body – even the brain - and tends to do so more frequently than not.
Pleural mesothelioma is not always easily detectable. Frequently, in the early stages of the disease, symptoms may be mild. Patients usually report pain in one area of the chest that never seems to go away, weight loss and fever. Occasionally, other symptoms are more severe and include problems with breathing due to fluid build up in the chest. A CT Scan of the chest area has proven to be the best test for identifying how far along the disease has progressed.
Frequently serum markers are used to diagnose of various forms of cancer. Mesothelioma cannot be diagnosed using this method as no serum markers currently exist. If high levels of hyaluronic acid are present it may be possible to distinguish mesothelioma from other types of cancer or to determine the effectiveness of a treatment protocol.
The survival rate for patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma typically is not high. Patients typically do not live beyond seventeen months from the onset of symptoms. Only 8% of those diagnosed with mesothelioma will live three to five years from the onset of symptoms.
3、Peritoneal Mesothelioma – affects the abdomen
Peritoneal mesothelioma originates in the abdomen and will frequently spread to other organs in area including the liver, spleen or bowel. Severe abdominal pain is the most common complaint that patients present to their doctor. There may also be a discomfort level with fluid build up in the abdomen as well. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include difficult bowel movements, nausea and vomiting, fever and swollen feet.
The survival rate is even worse for those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma will patients typically surviving only ten months from time that they first started experiencing the symptoms noted above.
4、Pericardial Mesothelioma – affects the heart
Pericardial mesothelioma is the least common form of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma, as the name suggests, involves the heart. This rare type of mesothelioma invades the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart. As the cancer progresses, the heart is not able to deliver oxygen as efficiently to the body causing further decline in health at an increasingly rapid rate. The symptoms most commonly associated with pericardial mesothelioma mimic those of a heart attack: nausea, pain in the chest and shortness of breath.
Benign Mesothelioma – affects the peritoneum
Cystic mesothelioma primarily affects women of younger age and affects the peritoneum. This type of mesothelioma is not frequently diagnosed and is also not a malignant form of the disease. It is, however, extremely difficult to identify and requires specialized microscopes and immunologic techniques to aid in diagnosis.
Mesothelioma in Uncommon Sites
A form of cardiac cancer that is rarely seen involves the pericardium. Tumors associated with this type of mesothelioma are not easily detectable and patients presented with this diagnosis tend to have a very low survival rate. There have also been reports of mesothelioma involving ovaries in women and the scrotum in men. Treatment for all of these rare forms of mesothelioma will vary depending on what stage a patient has progressed to but in most all cases the projected outcome is not favorable.