For some Americans, September 26, 2014 marked the first day they had heard the word “mesothelioma.” Mesothelioma is a disease caused by asbestos exposure that is almost always fatal. Many blue-collar workers are at risk for developing the disease after handling the substance for years, or decades, on the job.
In our recent Mesothelioma Awareness Day overview, we mentioned that there are several types of mesothelioma that can affect different areas of the human body over time. Let’s take a look at a few:
When cancer cells develop within the pleura, it is called pleural mesothelioma. The pleura is the membrane surrounding the lungs and chest. When this area is affected by mesothelioma, the patient can experience serious respiratory problems that are often mistaken for other diseases, like the flu or pneumonia.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer of the peritoneum, which is the lining of the stomach or abdomen. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include stomach, chest, or abdominal pain. Peritoneal mesothelioma makes up about 20%-33% of mesothelioma cases.
Pericardial mesothelioma is cancer of the pericardium-the thin lining that surrounds the heart. If cancerous cells begin to develop here, several problems can occur that will affect heart function. Surgery is not often an option for patients suffering from pericardial mesothelioma, because of the location of the disease.
There are other types of mesothelioma cancers, these are just three.
No matter where mesothelioma cancer has developed within the body, those affected are given an average of 1 to 2 years to live after diagnosis. There are cutting-edge medical treatments and therapies emerging for patients, but early detection will be the key to living a longer and healthier life with the disease.
Contact us today if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with the disease.