Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of asbestos-related cancer. This form of cancer affects the lining that surrounds the heart, and is associated with long term exposure to asbestos fibers.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, as with other types of mesothelioma, can take decades to manifest.
This means that the cancer is usually too advanced to treat effectively by the time it is diagnosed. It is always advisable that people who have worked with asbestos on a frequent basis in the past inform their doctors of such exposure.
Pericardial mesothelioma presents with a number of common symptoms: persistent coughing; shortness of breath; chest pain; and heart palpitations. Anyone that has worked with asbestos and experiences any or all of these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. In addition, patients experiencing mesothelioma symptoms should also contact a personal injury attorney to determine if they could obtain compensation through a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A pericardial mesothelioma diagnosis is usually determined by imaging. A biopsy surgery, CT Scan or MRI Scan can normally reveal what stage the disease is at, and this will help determine what sort of treatment can be considered. The patient's age, medical condition, and past medical history will also be taken into account when deciding upon a course of treatment.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Treatment
Pericardial mesothelioma can occasionally be treated with surgery. Even if surgery is performed, it is unlikely that all of the tumor or cells can be removed or treated, hence further treatment of radiation or chemotherapy (known as systemic treatments) is needed afterwards.
The two most common forms of treatment for pericardial mesothelioma are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is the most commonly used of the two procedures for this type of mesothelioma, and the one that has proven most successful with pericardial mesothelioma patients to date. However, both types of treatment must be carefully monitored due to the risk they pose to healthy cells as well as affected ones.
Another low risk procedure often used simply to relieve symptoms is a 'fine needle aspiration.' This is where a needle is inserted into the chest cavity in order to drain excess fluid buildup caused by the cancer. This can often relieve some of the symptoms of the disease.
New mesothelioma research and treatment options, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), photodynamic therapy (PDT), immunotherapy (biological therapy), gene therapy and new drugs like Veglin and Alimta are giving patients new hope.
Other Types of Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer, Cells and Disease
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is divided into three main categories depending on which part of the mesothelium it affects: peritoneal mesothelioma (peritoneum), pleural mesothelioma (lining of the lungs), and pericardial mesothelioma (lining of the heart). Asbestosis is a disease of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure.
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is one of the three main sub types of mesothelioma that are grouped according to cellular structure. The other two are epithelioid mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma.
Pericardial Mesothelioma: Legal Recourse
The majority of people who develop symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at their workplaces or homes. The law requires employers, construction managers and landlords to ensure reasonable safety of their premises. Failure to do so might render them liable for any damages their employees and/or occupants incur as a result. This is referred to as negligence, and asbestos exposure victims can often receive compensation by filing lawsuits based on this legal theory. In addition, families of deceased asbestos exposure victims are also often entitled to remuneration. If your loved one has died due to pericardial mesothelioma and you suspect asbestos exposure, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer. He or she will carefully evaluate your case and file a wrongful death lawsuit if appropriate.