Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Many people do not know that there are several types of mesothelioma that an asbestos exposure victim can be diagnosed with.
Mesothelioma victims are commonly diagnosed with one of these four types of the cancer:
Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the membranes surrounding the lungs and chest-the pleura-of an asbestos exposure victim. It is likely that the individual had been exposed for prolonged periods of time, often in the workplace.
Peritoneal mesothelioma victims experience tumor development in the lining of the stomach or abdomen, known as the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma makes up about 20-30% of mesothelioma cases.
Pericardial mesothelioma is a cancer of the pericardium-the thin lining that surrounds the heart of a victim. Pericardial mesothelioma can severely disrupt the function of the heart, including pericardial effusion, a condition that restricts the movement within the heart and results in low blood output.
A rarer form of mesothelioma is testicular mesothelioma. Testicular mesothelioma occurs in the membranes surrounding the testicles, known as the tunica vaginalis testis. Testicular mesothelioma can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
The symptoms of any of these four types of mesothelioma can take years or decades to appear after asbestos exposure has occurred. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma victims are often expected to live an average of 1 to 2 more years, making this a devastating disease.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it would be wise to share your exposure history with your doctor. They will be able to more accurately track symptoms and treat your condition sooner than later.