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.