Pleural Mesothelioma - Cancer of the Lung Lining
Pleural Mesothelioma affects the chest cavity, sometimes including the lungs. Metastates, or the spreading of the cancer, can occur in any other organs, and is much more common than originally thought. This form of mesothelioma usually has a slow onset, with the most common symptoms is localized chest pain. This can be accompanied by trouble breathing, caused by pleural effusion, or a buildup of liquid in the pleural space (chest cavity). Additional symptoms include cough, weight loss, and fever. The best test for determining the extent of Pleural Mesothelioma is a computed chest tomograph (CT-scan). Median survival time for this form of Mesothelioma is approximately 17 months from the onset of symptoms. This is the most common form of mesothelioma, accounting for 80-90% of cases.
The pleura are the tissues lining or covering surrounding the actual lungs. There are 2 pleural membranes, separated by the pleural space. These membranes are fibrous sheets, protecting the lungs by producing a lubricating fluid to assist in lung operation.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the abdomincal cavity and organs, including the liver, spleen and bowels. Pain is the most common symptom in cases of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. However, the accumulation of fluid can often cause the abdominal region to appear enlarged. Other common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, foot swelling, increased body temperature or fever, and difficulty in moving bowels. The survival time is poorer than pleural mesothelioma, with most patients averaging 10 months from the first display of symptoms. Peritoneal Mesothelioma accounts for approx. 10 percent of mesothelioma cases.
Pericardial Mesothelioma is affects the thin lining of tissue that surrounds the heart, or the pericardium. This cancer can occur at any age, although the mean age of presentation is 46. Symptoms include chest pain, cough, dyspnea, and palpitations. As with the other forms of Mesothelioma, a strong link to asbestos exposure seems evident. Surgery and radiation therapy can provide some palliation, however the prognosis is extremely poor.
A common sign of pericardial mesothelioma is pericardial effusion, or a collection of fluid in the sac that surrounds the heart. If caused by cancer, this symptom can be caused by the direct spread of cancer, or the result of cancer metastasized from other parts of the body.
Desmoplastic Malignant Mesothelioma
Desmoplastic malignant mesothelioma is the growth of fibrous or connective tissues around the tumor of the lining of the lung or chest cavity. The term .desmoplastic. refers to the growth of fibrous or connective tissue. "Desmo-" comes from the Greek "desmos" meaning "a fetter or band" and "-plastic" is also borrowed from the Greek, from "plassein" meaning "to form" = to form a band or fetter.