An Overview Of Mesothelioma Cancers

Report by Kirsten Hawkins

What are Mesothelioma Cancers?

Mesothelioma cancers are the cancers that spread in the mesothelium tissues. Mesothelium in general is the name of tissue that forms lining of distinct body organs such as heart, lungs, abdomen and reproductive organs. The lining around abdominal organs is identified as peritoneal membrane. Lining around lungs is known as pleural membrane even though the lining around heart is called pericardium.

These linings perform two functions. They protect the internal organs by making a lubricating fluid and to permit the smooth motion of the internal organs. Mesothelioma cancers are the cancers affecting these membranes. The names of the cancers rely on the tissue or linings they affect. Peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma are the names of cancers of linings of abdomen, lungs and heart, respectively. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common of all mesothelioma cancers and is located in 70 % of the mesothelioma patients. Peritoneal mesothelioma constitutes ten% to 20% of the mesothelioma patients while third type pericardial mesothelioma, is rare.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancers

Symptoms of mesothelioma cancers are very same as of other common diseases. It tends to make diagnosis mesothelioma cancers a hard process. Discomfort and swelling in abdomen, weakness, loss of weight, loss of appetite and nausea are some symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, chest pains, lower back pains and difficulty in swallowing.


History of mesothelioma cancers goes back to as far back as 1900s. It took about 60 years to gather sufficient details about these mesothelioma cancers. By the end of sixth decade of final century, experts could conclude that exposure to asbestos particles is the purpose behind the illness. J. C. Wagner was very first researcher to report 32 cases of mesothelioma cancers and confirmed its association with asbestos exposure.

One particular alarming fact about the mesothelioma cancers is its extended latency period. These cancers could stay asymptomatic in the body for even up to 50 years. Chances of survival for mesothelioma patients are rare and the common survival period after diagnosis is not a lot more than 12-24 months. Surgery if diagnosed early, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are some common remedies for all varieties of mesothelioma cancers. Individuals suffering from mesothelioma cancers can file lawsuits to recover damages for medical expenses and other damages. They can file the lawsuits against the persons and companies responsible for causing asbestos exposure.