Pericardial mesothelioma is a mesothelioma diagnosed as originating in the lining of the heart. Inside your chest and abdomen are a special lining of the organs and chest wall including the heart. This lining is known as the mesothelium, a small thin wall of tissue that helps surround these vital organs and assist in their movement. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure in these cells. Only about 1 in 10 cases of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma, or mesothelioma of the heart lining.
Asbestos fibers are long, thin, and durable. Your body is not capable of breaking down and absorbing asbestos fibers. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, or a mesothelioma originating in the lining of the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by inhaling asbestos particles which lodge into the tissues of the lungs, and over time can cause pleural plaques that can develop into cancer. Pericardial mesothelioma is different in that asbestos fiber exposure from breathing would not directly lead to asbestos fibers in your heart. Theories of how pericardial mesothelioma develops include the theory that inhaled asbestos fibers travel into a patient’s heart through the blood stream. Upon traveling into the heart as they circulate, they can pierce and place themselves into the hearts wall. From here the asbestos fibers can continue to pierce into the hearts lining and outer tissue, in the same way they do in the lung causing pleural mesothelioma. Once lodged into the hearts lining, they aggravate local tissue for decades, eventually causing the development of mesothelioma cancer.
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma
Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, and trouble breathing. Pericardial mesothelioma can also cause fluids to build up around organs including the heart, making these symptoms worse. A diagnosis occurs after your doctor examines you and determines additional testing is necessary. Ultimately the diagnosis of mesothelioma comes from a tissue or fluid biopsy to detect mesothelioma cancer cells. Once you are diagnosed a doctor can work to stage or evaluate the progress of cancer, to determine the extend of invasion and all locations of tumors, and work with you to decide a path for treatment.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Treatment
There is no cure for pericardial mesothelioma, however treatments exist to extend lifespan and to ensure a high quality of life, These treatments include surgery to resect the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other advanced treatments. If you are seeking treatment for pericardial mesothelioma, read the treatment options here, or see our list of doctors and treatment centers.
Pericardial mesothelioma, like all types of mesothelioma, is caused by exposure to asbestos. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos caused the cancer. Our investigators can determine from your work history and living history how you were exposed to asbestos and which corporations or companies products exposed you. The attorneys at Levin Simes Abrams are experienced mesothelioma lawyers who can proceed with a mesothelioma lawsuit on your behalf. Contact us today at 1-888-425-4156 or firstname.lastname@example.org