The Different Types Of Mesothelioma

The Different Types Of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma, said to be caused by asbestos exposure involves a tumor or cancer of the mesothelium or sacs that protect all the main organs in the body. Malignant mesolthelioma affects the cells of the lining causing them to behave in an abnormal fashion. There are many types of mesothelioma.

Pleural Mesolthelioma

In this case, the pleural lining or the protective lining and cavity of the lungs is affected by the cancer. This damage is shown by the buildup of fluid between chest cavity and lung lining which creates enormous problems for the patients. Some of the common symptoms of this form of the disease include coughing up blood, experiencing problems in breathing, swallowing difficulty, constant coughing, shortness of breath, fever and weight loss. The buildup of the fluid is commonly referred to as pleural effusion.

Although, advancements are being made, there is currently no treatment available for this disease. However, like all other forms the patient is made to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. Its spread is also indicated by the swelling of the patient’s neck areas and face. Dyspnea which too is characterized by shortness of breathing and malfunctioning of the lungs is another symptom.

Peritonial Mesothelioma

In this type, the peritoneum which is the lining of the abdomen is affected by the cancer. This kind of cancer is exclusively through asbestos exposure as the fibers cannot be removed from the body very easily. The peritoneum membrane like the pleura secretes a fluid that helps in reducing friction and helps greater movement amongst organs in the abdominal section of the body. Asbestos fibers in the area cause chronic inflammation through fibrosis that results in plagues and calcification obstructing the functioning of peritoneum and producing carcinogenic cells. The common symptoms of this form include shortness of breath, cough, loss of weight and fatigue, anemia, pain in upper abdomen, swelling of abdomen with fluid retention of growth of tumor and digestive disturbances.

One of the main problems with this disease is that the commonness of the symptoms does not allow it to be diagnosed in the earlier stages as a result of which the cancer or tumor grows to dangerous levels inside the body. Doctors can examine and diagnose this form of cancer by listening to breathing sounds which could point towards pleural effusion or some other restriction in the lung area. Another way is to listen to vocal sounds and comparing the sounds from the two chest cavities and the fluid is most probably built up there. A dull thumping sound upon tapping the chest area might also indicate the fluid presence to the doctor.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This is one of the rarest forms of the disease where the malignant mesothelioma cancer affects the heart along with the surrounding cavity area. The resultant symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, constant coughing and chest pain. Patients may have breathing trouble too and the doctor has to explicitly be told that you have been exposed to asbestos for him or her to guess the disease from these generic symptoms.

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