A mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops after a patient is exposed to asbestos fibers. The patient’s healthy cells mutate and become cancerous between ten and fifty years after their initial exposure. From there, they grow and multiply in the outer lining of the internal organs, including places like the lungs, heart, abdomen, and testicles. The type of mesothelioma is determined by the location of the cancerous tumors.
The Four Types of Mesothelioma
There are four types in all, outlined below.
Pleural Mesothelioma – Lungs
Pleural mesothelioma is mesothelioma that forms in the lining of the lungs, otherwise known as the pleura. It is the most common form of cancer, affecting around 80-90% of all mesothelioma patients.
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
Because these symptoms can also be associated with other illnesses, such as lung cancer and its long latency period, pleural mesothelioma can be tricky to diagnose.
According to mesothelioma.com, on average, patients survive about 18 months following their diagnosis, with a one-year survival rate of 73% and a five-year survival rate of 12%.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Abdomen
The second most common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. Diagnosed in 15-20% of all mesothelioma cases, this cancer affects the abdominal cavity lining, otherwise known as the peritoneum.
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Fluid in the abdomen (peritoneal effusion)
- Weight loss
Due to promising medical advancements, patients have a brighter outlook than those with other forms of the disease. Regardless of their treatment plan, these patients have a one-year survival rate of 92%. Of those patients who undergo surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), at least 50% live for five years or more.
Pericardial Mesothelioma – Heart
Pericardial mesothelioma tumors attack the lining of the heart (the pericardium). A rare form of the disease, less than 50 people are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, accounting for only 1% of all mesothelioma cases.
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Chest pain
- Fluid buildup in the pericardium
Because of the pericardium’s proximity to the heart, most patients feel chest pain early in the disease’s lifespan.
Since this form of mesothelioma is quite rare, a patient’s prognosis is worse than other forms of the illness. On average, pericardial patients survive six months, with a one-year survival rate of just over 51%. In many cases, treatments are palliative and aim to reduce symptoms.
Shrader Law: Getting You the Help You Deserve
No matter the type of mesothelioma you’ve developed as a result of working with asbestos, you may be owed compensation for the expenses related to your illness and the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your questions immediately.
Contact our experienced team here at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. to learn more about how we can help with your case. Call us at (877) 958-7920 or fill out the online contact form to get in touch with a skilled attorney today. https://shraderlaw.com/mesothelioma/