Mesothelioma Cancer Information: The Connection With Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The risk of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure is dose dependent—the greater the asbestos exposure, the greater the risk of developing mesothelioma. For many, the main source of asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace. In industries that employed tradesmen, Navy vets, and construction crewmembers, exposure to asbestos containing materials may even have gone largely unnoticed to the workers. See the asbestos exposure section for a list of occupations, products, manufacturers and job sites where asbestos exposure was a common occurrence.
Mesothelioma, a complex and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure, most often develops as pleural mesothelioma. Three other types of mesothelioma, although not as common, occur as well. For more detailed explanations of the four different types of mesothelioma cancer, please see the following:
- Pleural Mesothelioma – This tumor develops in the pleura, which is the plastic-wrap like thin and translucent organ made of mesothelial cells that surrounds and protects the lungs. The tumor obliterates the pluera, crushing the lungs and causing a build up of fluid known as pleural effusion, both of which cause intense pain and shortness of breath.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma – The peritoneum, which is the lining of the stomach or abdomen made of mesothelial cells that protects the organs in the abdomen, may develop peritoneal mesothelioma.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma can also develop in the pericardium, the thin lining made up of mesothelial cells that surrounds and protects the heart.
- Gonadal Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma can also develop in the gonads or testicles because the scrotum is an extension of the peritoneum. It is the rarest form of mesothelioma.
How Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?
Asbestos fibers, inhaled or swallowed, may penetrate the surface of the mesothelium, a membrane that lines the pleural cavity where your lungs are; the peritoneum, which lines your abdominal cavity; and pericardium or heart sac. If the fibers damage the cells of the mesothelium, irregular cell division can progress into a malignant tumor within the mesothelium, known as mesothelioma.
Further Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Information
Diagnosis of mesothelioma can be difficult due to mesothelioma symptoms being similar to those of other conditions. For patients, having insight to the diagnosis of mesothelioma, a list of specialists that diagnose mesothelioma and an overview of treatment options can better prepare them for a meeting with their doctor.
Our Mesothelioma Lawyers, Your Legal Rights
Our mesothelioma attorneys have helped mesothelioma victims for over 30 years. Learn more about how our team of expert mesothelioma attorneys can help you.