Pericardial mesothelioma or mesothelioma of the pericardium is the rarest of all types of mesothelioma. It comprises 5% of all reported and documented cases of mesothelioma. Aside from being the rarest, it is also the most painful type since it pierces the heart until the patient dies.
The heart, an organ responsible for blood circulation, needs to move constantly and properly. And since it constantly pumps blood, constant lubrication is required. The lubrication comes from the thin layer of mucous that surrounds it.
The protective sac that provides lubrication and protection to the heart is called “pericardium”. Although there is no definite explanation why asbestos fumes reach the outer lining of the heart, it is believed that they enter the body through breathing and traveled through bloodstream. In fact, one of the reasons why pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest type of mesothelioma is because patients who are exposed to asbestos can easily have pleural mesothelioma. Asbestos fumes, if there are lots of them, will damage the pleura before they can damage the pericardium. In layman’s term, asbestos fumes that reach the heart are just the excess fumes from the lungs.
Just like any other types of mesothelioma, asbestos fibers will shred the protective lining that protects the certain vital organ, in this case, the pericardium. Irritation over a long period of time will help the growth of cancerous cells and kill the healthy ones. Tumors will then start to show up and grow larger in size. Unfortunately, symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma start to show when cancer is in its most advanced stage living the patients and doctors helpless.
Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include;
• Shortness of breath
• Strong palpitations of the heart
• Various level of chest pain
• Heart failure
Since pericardial mesothelioma is in the very sensitive organ in the body, doctors have very few options to help the patients. Light radiation treatment is the first in the list; this will eventually slow down the spread of the cancerous cells but it cannot provide much comfort to the part of the patients. Because of this, chemotherapy will be used to boost the effect of the radiation treatment.
Another type of treatment used by doctors is the so-called “fine needle aspiration” which draws out excess fluids from pericardium; this treatment will help ease some symptoms.
However, in most severe and rare cases, surgery is called into action to literally remove the pericardium to help slow down the growth of mesothelioma. Although this treatment is the last on the list, it still will not cure pericardial mesothelioma patients. It is because cancer may have spread thoroughly in the body even before the discovery of the cancer.
There is no absolute cure for any types of mesothelioma. All treatments are done to prolong and make the lives of the patients easier while waiting for their time to come. But don’t lose faith as there were testimonies about the people suffering from this kind of disease but made their way out.
Keep posted to know who they are. We are currently contacting them to share their experiences and how they cheated death.