If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma call 1-844-207-4044 Medical experts acknowledge four main types of mesothelioma — each named for the area of the body where the cancer forms. The most common type, pleural mesothelioma, develops in the lining of the lungs.
Peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. This is the second-most prevalent type. The overwhelming majority of mesothelioma specialists treat patients with one of these two types.
The rarest forms of the disease are pericardial and testicular mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma starts in the lining of the heart, while testicular mesothelioma develops in the lining of the testicles. Together, these types account for less than 2 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses.
Primary Cause of All Mesothelioma Types
All the different types and subtypes of this disease share one common thread. They are caused primarily by a prolonged exposure to asbestos, usually in the workplace. If a doctor suspects that you have any form of mesothelioma, you should think back through your work background to find a connection to when you worked with or around asbestos materials and products.
Most pleural mesothelioma patients can remember a time when they breathed in asbestos fibers. In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, patients often swallowed the fibers. Researchers are less certain about how asbestos triggers the pericardial and testicular forms of the disease.
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the mesothelial lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. This type represents approximately 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Although symptoms may vary, the most common pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Persistent dry cough
Persistent chest pain
Night sweats / fever
Treatment for pleural mesothelioma largely depends on the stage of the cancer, which doctors use to describe how far it has progressed. When mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage, potentially curative surgery may be an option for patients. Most treatments in later stages are palliative, meaning they aim to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Learn About Pleural Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the mesothelial lining of the abdomen, known as the peritoneum. Approximately 20 percent of all mesothelioma cases are peritoneal. Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
Nausea / vomiting
Constipation or diarrhea
Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may have symptoms caused by thickening of the peritoneal membrane and the build-up of fluid. Because peritoneal mesothelioma spreads throughout the body faster than other types of mesothelioma, treatment may be difficult. Heated chemotherapy has shown promise in treating this type of mesothelioma.
Learn About Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma develops on the exterior lining of the heart, known as the pericardium. This type of mesothelioma is rare and accounts for about 1 percent of all mesothelioma cases.