The pleural mesothelioma typically originates in the chest and frequently also affects the lungs. A timely diagnosis is extremely tricky because early detection is rarely possible, due to the fact that at the early stage of this condition, a patient doesn’t exhibit any or only rather mild symptoms. Later on, the most commonly seen signs and symptoms include chest pain that won’t subside, weight loss and fever.
Further to that, but less frequent symptoms, may include breathing problems caused by fluid accumulations in the chest. The survival prognosis for patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma is poor. On average, a patient does not live longer than 17 months after diagnosis and only bout 8% will continue to live for another three to five years.
As you can tell by the name, pericardial mesothelioma involves and affects primarily the heart. This form of mesothelioma is the least frequently seen one. The cancer starts in the pericardium which is a lining that surrounds the heart. The progression of this illness will result in insufficient oxygen production of the heart. The symptoms are very similar to those exhibited by patients suffering from a heart attack and usually include severe chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is different. It originates in the abdomen and later on continues to spread and affect other organs located in the abdomen, such as the liver, spleen and bowel. Patients of peritoneal mesothelioma report excruciating abdominal pain as the most prominent symptom, however, we also often see swollen feet, nausea and vomiting along with fever and difficulties with bowel movements. Peritoneal mesothelioma comes with a poor outlook on survival, too. On average, patients do not survive more than 10 months after they exhibited the first conclusive symptoms.
Another rather rare form among the asbestos induced cancers is the so called malignant mesothelioma. However, this is the most severe kind of this particular health condition. Often lying dormant for years or decades make an early detecting and diagnosis practically impossible. As a consequence, patients who got diagnosed can only be provided with treatments of very limited efficacy. Malignant mesothelioma is exclusively caused by asbestos exposure and may occur in patients who have been inhaling or ingesting the highly toxic dust particles of the contaminated air at asbestos sites.
Least frequently we see the rare benign mesothelioma. Benign means that it is not cancerous, yet, still very tricky to detect early. The treatment usually involves a procedure with the objective of removing the tumor surgically. Since benign mesothelioma is not a cancer, the prognosis it typically very optimistic.