Pericardial Mesothelioma Attorneys

Doing Our Part to Keep Asbestos Out of Circulation

Pericardial mesothelioma is a very rare type of mesothelioma that originates in the lining of the heart (pericardium). Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the serous membranes that line certain cavities of the body, however, many people mistakenly believe that mesothelioma is a type of primary lung cancer. Mesothelioma is also often incorrectly referred to as a lung cancer caused by asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma, affects the serous membranes in the lungs but does not originate in the lung tissue.

Asbestosis, however, is a disease caused by inhalation of asbestos that does originate in the lungs and is often confused with mesothelioma.

Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest type of mesothelioma. Fewer than 10% of patients with mesothelioma are diagnosed with disease in the pericardium. Additionally, pericardial mesothelioma is still not well understood. It is known that pericardial mesothelioma can spread to the lungs, resulting in secondary lung cancer; however, very little research is conducted on this type of mesothelioma because of the low incidence of diagnosis. When you come to our firm, our mesothelioma attorneys can recommend a medical professional experienced with this disease.

To speak with someone familiar with pericardial mesothelioma, call (877) 958-7920.

Role of Asbestos in the Development of Pericardial Mesothelioma

It is well accepted that inhalation of asbestos fibers causes pleural mesothelioma, however, the role of asbestos in the development of pericardial mesothelioma is less well understood. Current research has still not shown an undeniable connection between asbestos exposure and pericardial mesothelioma. It is apparent, however, that many patients with pericardial mesothelioma do have prior contact with asbestos.

The link between asbestos and pericardial mesothelioma is puzzling because it is not clear how asbestos fibers embed in the pericardium. Some physicians and researchers hypothesize that asbestos fibers are broken down in the lungs and are then able to enter the blood stream. As they are pumped through the heart, the fibers get trapped in the pericardium.

When this happens, the body is unable to successfully remove the asbestos fibers from the serous membranes. Over a long period of time, the fibers induce changes within the pericardial cells that may result in the initiation of cancerous growth. Uncontrolled growth of the cancerous cells leads to the thickening of the pericardium and, eventually, the formation of tumors. This thickening that occurs within the pericardium, along with an increase in fluid accumulation between the pericardial layers, makes it very difficult for the heart to function normally.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Pericardial Mesothelioma

In patients with pericardial mesothelioma, the formation of cancerous tumors within the pericardium can cause tissue thickening and the buildup of fluid. The fluid can prevent the heart from functioning properly, leading to chest pain and an irregular heartbeat. Patients with pericardial mesothelioma usually present to their physician complaining of significant chest pain or other cardiac symptoms that occur following minimal physical exertion.

Patients with pericardial mesothelioma may exhibit all three kinds of cells that are characteristic of mesothelioma:

  • Epithelioid mesothelioma
  • Sarcomatoid mesothelioma
  • Biphasic mesothelioma

The type of cells present in the pericardial tissue affects mesothelioma prognosis. For example, patients with biphasic mesothelioma cancer cells are believed to have a shorter life expectancy.

Turn Shrader & Associates L.L.P. for Experienced Guidance

The mesothelioma attorneys of Shrader & Associates L.L.P. have assisted hundreds of clients with this disease find excellent medical care and receive compensation they are owed.

For a free consultation with our caring legal team, call (877) 958-7920.

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