Types of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects the serous membranes surrounding the major organs of the body i.e. the lungs, heart and the abdominal organs, causing these vital organs to inflate with excessive fluid. This fluid further causes the improper functioning of the organs. The only known cause of this cancerous tumor is asbestos exposure. In this disease, malignant cells are built up in the protective linings (serous membranes) of several internal organs known as mesothelium. Different organs in the abdomen cavity can get affected by mesothelioma because of the presence of the protective linings surrounding them. The most common types of mesothelioma include:
* Pleural Mesothelioma,
* Peritoneal Mesothelioma, and
* Pericardial Mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma is a tumor in which the lining of the lungs, or lung pleura, gets affected by malignant cells. The pleura is a soft protective tissue that surrounds the lungs in the chest cavity. It helps the lungs in breathing (respiration) by producing a serous fluid that lubricates the pleural surfaces to avoid the teasing of the lungs against the chest wall. The malignant cells, once entered the pleura, begin to spread and affect the surrounding organs and tissues. This leads to further complications resulting pain and severe symptoms.
Mesothelioma affecting pleura is of two categories:
Diffused or Malignant (Cancerous):
It is the serious form of pleural mesothelioma that affects the pleural lining of the lungs and its surrounding organs.
Localized and Benign (Non-cancerous):
It is the non-cancerous form of mesothelioma, which does not affect all parts of the body except the pleura. However, it constricts the lung causing shortness of breath, and in some severe cases, pneumothorax (lung failure).
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a tumor of the peritoneum membrane or the abdomen lining, affecting many organs in the abdominal cavity including stomach. This form of mesothelioma cancer is less common than the pleural form but is more aggressive, resulting severe symptoms and short life expectancy. Like many other cancers, peritoneal mesothelioma can also be either malignant or benign.
Pericardial or Pericardium Mesothelioma is the rarest form of cancer, counting less than 10% of mesothelioma cases. In this form of cancer, fluid gets accumulated in the sac that encloses the heart. The main cause of this disease is the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Due to the rarity of this disease, doctors and researchers have not clearly understood how the asbestos fibers enter the heart lining or pericardium. The only logical explanation so far about this form of cancer is the possibility of the asbestos fibers, converted into tiny pieces, transported from the lung into the heart by means of blood circulation. Once the asbestos fibers enter the heart, they expand the tissues in the chest cavity and the pericardium with excessive liquid, disrupting the working of the heart and causing chest pains with breathing disorders.
Each year, approximately 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed. At some point of their lives, the patients of mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos that later cause the hideous cancer of mesothelioma. If you, at some point of your life, have worked in an asbestos-rich environment or used any asbestos materials, you should contact a mesothelioma doctor for correct diagnosis and best treatment options available.
Laura Russell is a professional health writer having expertise in the field of Mesothelioma Cancer. To view more of her articles, please visit: Mesothelioma Cancer Info
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