Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that aggressively attacks the body, forming on the lining of the chest, abdomen, heart and in rare cases the testicles.
There are 3000 new cases a year, in the United States and the causes of Mesothelioma are directly linked to asbestos exposure.
Due to the latency period, it can take up to 50 years to fully develop in some victims, making Mesothelioma too far gone to treat.
The Types of Mesothelioma
There are four main types of Mesothelioma diagnosis, each named after the affected areas, within the body.
Pleural Mesothelioma – Lungs
Pleural mesothelioma affects the protective lining of the lungs, accounting for 75 percent of diagnoses, within mesothelioma victims. It’s the most common type of the disease.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Abdomen
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity. It’s the second most common form of mesothelioma and often results in regurgitating inhaled asbestos fibers.
Pericardial Mesothelioma – Heart
Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of the disease. It starts in the covering around the heart, only 2-5 percent of cases are diagnosed with the disease a year.
Testicular Mesothelioma – Testicles
Testicular mesothelioma is the rarest form of the disease. The cancer forms in the lining that covers the testicles and is extremely difficult to diagnose because of its rarity.
Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment
Due to the latency period of mesothelioma, by the time symptoms have surfaced, the disease has often advanced to a stage that’s difficult to treat.
The symptoms will vary, depending on the type of mesothelioma but may include:
- Chest pains
- Heart murmurs
- Shortness of breath
Treating mesothelioma can be very tough, even if you were to catch it at an earlier stage. Doctors usually treat the disease through surgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. New types of treatment such as biologic therapy and gene therapy are in the clinical trial phase.