Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mesothelioma Types

Mesothelioma is a cancer in which the lining of the three major organs of our body gets affected. These three organs are lungs (pleural lining), abdomen (peritoneum) and heart (pericardium). Depending upon the affected part, there are three types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.

The most common mesothelioma out of the three types is pleural mesothelioma. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are somewhat similar to lung cancer and often these symptoms are mistaken for lung cancer. The difference between the two cancers is that lung cancer is caused due to malfunctioning of lung tissues, whereas pleural mesothelioma is caused due to malignancy of pleura, which is the lining of the lungs. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain etc. These symptoms occur due to building up of fluid in the pleural cavity. Treatment involves sucking out this fluid. Suction of excess fluid is no guarantee though of non-reoccurrence, but if the space is blocked with the help of surgery, it may relieve the patient permanently from the disease.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is another type of mesothelioma. The disease occurs due to malignancy of the peritoneum, the lining that cases the abdomen. Asbestos fiber inhalation is the most common cause of peritoneal mesothelioma. People working in industries where they are exposed to asbestos are at a high risk of getting it. This is because the fine fibers of asbestos are breathed in and reach the abdomen travelling through the esophagus. These fibers get deposited there and disturb normal functioning of the digestive system, further developing into a tumor. The symptoms of the tumor include abdomen pain, loss in appetite, weight loss etc.

The rarest type of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma. This happens when the pericardium is affected. Studies show that men are more prone to it as compared to women. Some initial symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are chest pain and persistent coughing. These symptoms occur because of building up of fluid around the heart. Surgical removal of the pericardium is an effective treatment.

Tunica vaginalis testis is yet another type of mesothelioma, though only a handful of patients are affected by this. Tunica vaginalis testis is caused when fluid accumulates in a sac near the testicles. Removal of the affected testis is the appropriate treatment suggested by doctors.

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