Mesothelioma is divided into four different types: pleural, pericardial, peritoneal and testicular mesothelioma. The name of the cancer refers to the area where the cancer is present. In all cases of mesothelioma, the disease develops in the mesothelial cells, which form the membranous lining that protects the organs such as the lungs, heart and abdomen.
The type of mesothelioma the patient has and their overall health will help determine both the course of treatment and the patient’s prognosis. To receive a complimentary packet with information about improving prognosis and mesothelioma life expectancy, please fill out the packet request form on this page.
This is the most common form of the cancer. About two-thirds of the 2,000 - 3,000 mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year involve the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Pleural mesothelioma patients may experience symptoms including dry cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, hoarseness, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, fever or night sweats and fluid in the lungs.
The second most common form of the cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma affects approximately 25 to 30 percent of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. Patients with this form of the cancer may demonstrate symptoms such as stomach or abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and unexplained weight loss.
A rare form of the disease affecting only about 5 percent of all those diagnosed with mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma attacks membrane that surrounds the heart, known as the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma is characterized by symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing and heart palpitations.
The rarest form of mesothelioma, less than 100 cases of testicular mesothelioma have been recorded. Testicular mesothelioma is often found when the patient is undergoing an unrelated procedure, such as hernia surgery, and is characterized by testicular lumps. In some instances, the testicular tumor is most likely secondary, a result of metastases from peritoneal mesothelioma.