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What is Mesothelioma?Mesothelioma Types

What Types Of Mesothelioma Are There?

Due to the prolonged latency period that mesothelioma can take before symptoms begin to show, and, further, because the underlying symptoms of mesothelioma are difficult to detect initially, this type of disease had not been previously widely known. However, with recent increases in detection, knowledge of this dreadful disease is becoming more wide-spread. Nonetheless, questions till commonly heard are (1) “what is mesothelioma?”, and (2) “what types of mesothelioma are there?”

What is Mesothelioma?

In short, mesothelioma is a type of cancerous tumor that develops in the part of the body where mesothelium, a protective membrane sac that surrounds the vital organs, is found. Most commonly, mesothelioma develops in the lining of the patient's (i) lungs, (ii) chest, or (iii) abdomen. The most common cause for contracting mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, with approximately 2 out f every 3 patient's having contracted the disease this way.

What types of Mesothelioma are there?

Although is it feasible for mesothelioma to develop in any part of the body where the mesothelium membrane sac is located, essentially the disease manifests itself as either (i) pleural mesothelioma; (ii) pertioneal mesothelioma; or (iii) pericardial mesothelioma.

(i) Pleural mesothelioma

Although a rare form of cancer, pleural mesothelioma (also commonly known as malignant pleural mesothelioma) account for approximately three-quarters of all known mesothelioma cases to-date. Pleural mesothelioma attacks the pleural cavity surrounding the patient's lungs and which allow the patient's lungs to contract and expand while breathing normally. Typical symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, will, therefore, include shortness of breath and a repeated cough that will not go away. Other symptoms commonly found with phenomena can also be common.

(ii) Pertioneal mesothelioma

Far less common than pleural mesothelioma, pertioneal mesothelioma still accounts for approximately one in every 5 cases of mesothelioma cancer. Also known as abdominal mesothelioma, pertioneal mesothelioma attacks the tissue lining the patient's abdomen, which is known as the pertioneal and thus gives its name to this type of cancer. Symptoms commonly found with this type of mesothelioma cancer include either unexplained weight loss or gain and painful stomach complaints.

(iii) Pericardial mesothelioma

By far the rarest form of mesothelioma cancer is pericardial mesothelioma, which typically affects less than on in every ten patients. Nonetheless, as pericardial mesothelioma attacks the mesothelium membrane sac and lining surrounding the heart, it can also be the most severe.

Treatment for each of the different types of mesothelioma is typically the same, but minor variation can sometimes be found to counter the different types of malignant mesothelioma cells. As with the disease itself, cells types are also commonly sub-divided into three categories, (a) epithelioid, (b) sarcomatoid, and (c) biphasic – but it should be noted that most mesothelioma patient's show symptoms of suffering from more than one cell type.

Of the three different cell types, epithelioid is the most commonly found, with sarcomatoid being the least commonly detected. The biphasic cell is a combination of both the epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells, and might be seen as being a hybrid.

Should you believe that you may be suffering from any of the above possible mesothelioma cancers, you are advised to seek a consultation with your physician at your earliest possible convenience.

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