Mesothelioma Types

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There are four types of mesothelioma:

Pleural (lungs), peritoneal (abdomen), pericardial (heart) and testicular. Pleural and peritoneal are the most common types, comprising nearly 90 percent of all diagnoses.Learn more about each specific type and what it means for your treatment options.

 

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is the inflammation of the pleura — a two-ply membrane that both encloses the lung and lines the chest cavity. When this membrane becomes red and swollen, the two layers can become separated, creating a space. This space can remain empty (dry pleurisy), or it can fill up with fluid (wet pleurisy).

Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura -- a two-ply membrane that both encloses the lung and lines the chest cavity. When this membrane becomes red and swollen, the two layers can become separated, creating a space. This space can remain empty (dry pleurisy), or it can fill up with fluid (wet pleurisy).

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma:

  • sharp pain with each breath you take

  • extreme pain when you cough or sneeze

  • shallow, difficult breathing

  • dry coughing, among others.

For more information, please see Pleurisy: Mesothelioma Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment. 

However, if you think you may have pleurisy, see your doctor immediately.

 

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. The peritoneum helps protect our organs in the abdominal area and also produces a lubricating fluid to help them move smoothly inside as we move around. This type is much rarer than pleural mesothelioma.

 

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma develops on the exterior lining of the heart, known as the pericardium. This type of mesothelioma is rare and accounts for about 1 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms develop when fluid builds up in the spaces between the layers of the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms include:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Chest Pain Difficulty Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Night Sweats / Fever
  • Fatigue

As with other types of mesothelioma, doctors most commonly treat pericardial mesothelioma with palliative therapies that relieve symptoms. Removing pericardial tumors with surgery is risky because they grow so close to the heart.

 

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma develops in the tunica vaginalis, the lining of the testes. This is the rarest type of mesothelioma, accounting for less than 1 percent of all cases. Many patients are diagnosed while receiving surgery or treatment for another condition.
Because of the rarity of this type, it has been difficult for medical researchers to come up with a complete list of symptoms. The two main indicators of this cancer are painless testicular lumps and swelling of the scrotum. This form of mesothelioma is usually not diagnosed until lumps develop.
Testicular mesothelioma patients may undergo surgery to remove all or part of the affected testicle. Doctors sometimes recommend adjuvant therapy, which involves chemotherapy or radiation therapy after the surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Learn About Testicular Mesothelioma

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