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Our Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Clients Who Have Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

What Are the Common Types of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable, and aggressive cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can cause cancer to develop in the membranes around the lungs and other vital organs. There are four mesothelioma types: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. While there are treatment options that can help extend a patient’s life expectancy, the type of treatment will depend on the type and stage of the disease and the overall health of the patient at the time of diagnosis. The costs associated with these treatments can be extremely expensive, particularly if they require surgeries and ongoing medical care. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is recommended that you contact an experienced mesothelioma doctor as soon as possible.

The four types of mesothelioma are based on where the tumors develop. The disease occurs in the linings around the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. In addition, each type of mesothelioma can have different types of cancer cells, including epithelioid, biphasic, sarcomatoid, or a combination of all three. The following explains each type of mesothelioma, the common symptoms, and treatment options for each.

Pleural Mesothelioma

This is by far the most common type of mesothelioma. According to the CDC, pleural mesothelioma accounts for over 80 percent of all cases. This begins in the chest cavity lining surrounding the lungs and is caused by prior exposure to asbestos, a known carcinogen. Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pleural effusion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing

Treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and radiation. Depending on the prognosis and the stage of the disease, a doctor may combine these treatment options to prolong a patient’s life.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

This originates in the lining of the abdomen. It accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all cases. While the prognosis for this type of mesothelioma is better than pleural mesothelioma, there is less research on effective treatment options. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Fluid buildup in the peritoneum
  • Weight loss
  • Inflammatory lesions
  • Night sweats

Treatment options include chemotherapy or cytoreductive surgery (CRS), although doctors will likely combine therapies for a more effective treatment. Studies show that patients treated with CRS and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) have shown improved survival rates.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This type of mesothelioma forms in the heart’s lining and is called the pericardium. It is extremely rare, only accounting for less than one percent of all cases. It has been linked to asbestos exposure. Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include:

  • Chest pain
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling of the legs or lower extremities

Treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery, and palliative procedures. In some cases, doctors may administer radiation. Patients treated with surgery and chemotherapy tend to have the best outcomes.

Testicular Mesothelioma

This forms around the lining of the testicle. This type of mesothelioma is also very rare, accounting for less than one percent of all cases. It is also connected to asbestos exposure. Common symptoms include:

  • Enlargement of the scrotum
  • Hydrocele
  • Solid scrotal mass
  • Spermatocele

Testicular mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as benign adenomatoid mesothelioma or inflammation of the epididymis, which is the tube that carries sperm from the testicle. Surgery is the most effective treatment for testicular mesothelioma. Patients may undergo additional treatments after surgery, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or radiation.

What Are the Stages of Mesothelioma?

Like most cancers, mesothelioma is divided into four stages based on whether the cancer has spread and how far. Basically, the earlier the stage, the less likely the disease will spread and the more effective the treatment is likely to be.

  • Stage 1: This shows that the tumor is localized to the mesothelium and has not yet spread. Patients with this diagnosis are more likely to respond well to treatment, including surgery, and their prognosis is significantly better than that of patients with a more advanced diagnosis.
  • Stage 2: The tumor has grown and may have spread to organs outside the mesothelium. There is no significant difference in prognosis from Stage 1 to Stage 2, and treatment options are similar, including surgery.
  • Stage 3: The tumor has spread throughout one side of the body, including lymph nodes, the chest wall, the esophagus, ribs, or the heart. Surgery may still be an option, although chemotherapy may no longer be effective. Palliative treatment will likely be recommended to improve quality of life.
  • Stage 4: The tumor has spread to both sides of the body, including distant lymph nodes, bone cells, the brain, and other organ tissues.

Our Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Clients Who Have Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, do not hesitate to contact our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. We will determine who is responsible for your illness. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, and we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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