There are four types of mesothelioma depending upon which area of the body the mesothelioma develops. Mesothelioma may develop in the protective lining of the lungs (Pleural), stomach (Peritoneal), heart (Pericardial), or testes (Testicular).
Mesothelioma Is Cancer of the Mesothelium
The mesothelium is the protective tissue that lines the pleura, peritoneum, and pericardium. It is a specialized tissue that is designed to protect vital organs while providing critical functions to the cavity they occupy.
Their primary function is to keep the organ and cavity lubricated and cushioned with fluid. They can also transport needed fluids, nutrients and cells to areas of the cavity they occupy based on the body’s needs like an infection or inflammation.
When asbestos fibers become inhaled or ingested they become embedded in or near these tissues, it can cause cancer growth by interfering with the mitosis of dividing cells. Cancer cells then spread rapidly across the mesothelium tissue.
Eventually, the growth becomes significant enough to interfere with the organ’s functionality. It may rarely metastasize to nearby organs as well as brain, bone, lymph nodes and other tissues.
Typical treatment for mesothelioma cancer includes radiation, chemotherapy, surgical removal and lifestyle change.
Mesothelioma Cell Types
It is important to know which type of mesothelioma cancer cells are present in order to properly tailor medical treatment to the exact type of mesothelioma cell. Mesothelioma cells may be classified in three main categories known as sarcomatoid, epithelial, or biphasic mesothelioma cells.
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells are most resistant to treatment and develop the most aggressively, so an early diagnosis of sarcomatoid mesothelioma is critical in order to obtain the best response to available treatment options.
While there is no cure for mesothelioma, biphasic and epithelial mesothelioma are known to be more responsive to available treatment options and an increased life expectancy.
There are many types of mesothelioma that correspond to the affected mesothelium:
- Pleural Mesothelioma
This condition is the most commonly discussed type of mesothelioma, as it affects patients who have inhaled asbestos in significant amounts. It affects the mesothelium which lines the area of the lungs protecting and lubricating it while it expands and contracts within the body.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
The second most-common form of mesothelioma, It affects the peritoneum lining the stomach and upper abdomen cavity. The peritoneum and mesothelium are similar protective tissues. It is thought to have a connection with asbestos exposure by swallowing asbestos fibers.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma is a cancer of the pericardial mesothelium covering the heart. It is extremely rare and has a poor prognosis. Surgical removal of the mesothelium is the best option followed by chemotherapy to alleviate symptoms.
- Testicular Mesothelioma
Officially called malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis, testicular mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma, with fewer than 100 confirmed cases to date.
If you or someone close to you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact us today for a free, confidential case evaluation. You will be connected with experienced asbestos lawyers who will provide immediate assistance and help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses.