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Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that originates in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin layer of flat cells that protect the body's internal organs. Our body's internal organs often require the ability to move within the chest and abdominal cavity. These are normal bodily motions of expansion and contraction. For organs to move freely in the body they require the lubrication of the mesothelium. Not only does it spread easily to other parts of the body, mesothelioma initiates within these areas, causing a serious health consequence to the normal body functions.

Among types of mesothelioma, there are generally three recognized forms in which it can manifest. The first and most common is malignant pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the pleural lining of the lung. The second and less common variety is malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the abdominal lining. The rarest form of mesothelioma is malignant pericardial mesothelioma, a cancer of the pericardial lining of the heart.

The only known cause for each of these three forms is exposure to asbestos. While there have been instances in which a patient's history did not include, or did not directly include asbestos exposure, it is blamed in the vast majority of cases. There is no known cure for mesothelioma and prognoses are generally poor. Treatments are readily available in most cases, the most widely used being chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery may be an option but by the time mesothelioma manifests itself in terms of symptoms, stage at diagnosis may have already ruled this mesothelioma treatment route out.

New treatments are being diligently pursued, including multi-faceted treatment programs incorporating two or more of the above treatment programs into a single patient's care. Through awareness of mesothelioma, asbestos, and the potential health consequences we can begin ridding ourselves of this unfortunate disease.


Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that we are hearing more and more about every year as many people are being diagnosed with the disease. This type of cancer has developed in many people that worked with asbestos or have been exposed to asbestos frequently in their homes or apartments growing up.

There is more than one type of mesothelioma and the one type that is not as commonly seen is malignant mesothelioma. This form of the disease causes malignant cancer cells to form in the sac lining the chest, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and also the lining around the heart.

In recent years many people have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to the high amounts of asbestos that was in use in the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies. Usually the disease will develop after a lengthy period of time, and usually this happens around twenty-five to forty years, this is why it is becoming so common in the last decade or two. Mesothelium is the protective lining that protects most of the body's organs and this is where mesothelioma occurs.

Often times mesothelioma is misdiagnosed at first because some of the symptoms of this asbestos disease are similar to other conditions that could affect your health. If you have ever worked with asbestos or lived in a place with asbestos then you need to be sure to let the doctor know so they consider mesothelioma right away. With an x-ray the doctors can see if there is pleural thickening around the lungs and they will also do various lung tests and breathing tests. Tuberculosis and heart failure can sometimes show similar symptoms so they will do tests to check for these as well.

Mesothelioma is a very dangerous cancer and even if it is caught early on there is still at this point only a very slim chance of beating it. So if you have ever been exposed to asbestos be sure to see your doctor and there are also many mesothelioma lawyers that can help you with any legal issues involving asbestos and mesothelioma.