Types Of Mesothelioma

Types Of Mesothelioma

There are four types of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, only known to be caused by asbestos exposure. Treatments for Mesothelioma are improving, but this condition remains an aggressive and deadly cancer. Let’s take a look at each form of Mesothelioma.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma most often occurs in the membrane lining of the lungs, abdomen, chest and heart. Nearly 3,000 cases are recorded each year in the U.S. Virtually all reported cases are caused by the exposure to asbestos. Approximately two percent of all miners and textile workers, and 10 percent of workers involved in manufacturing asbestos-containing gas masks that are exposed to asbestos, will contract Mesothelioma.

Individuals working in the following fields have an increased risk of this disease: Manufacturing and installing asbestos insulation, asbestos mines, shipyards, asbestos mills and factories. Anyone living close to these facilities that have found asbestos can also be at-risk. Large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers pose many health risks.

Facts About Mesothelioma:

  • 19,011 cases of Mesothelioma were recorded from 2003-2008 in the U.S., according to the NIH.
  • Mesothelioma accounts for less than 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S.
  • There are four types of this disease, including pleural, pericardial, testicular and peritoneal.

*Facts according to Asbestos

4 Types Of Mesothelioma

All types of Mesothelioma are determined by location of the cancer and the tumor cell variant. For instance, pleural Mesothelioma develops in the pleural lining, which surrounds the lungs. Each type of this cancer can lead to different symptoms. Medical professionals will determine proper treatment methods based on cell type and cancer stage.

Pleural Mesothelioma

This is the most common form of Mesothelioma, accounting for nearly 75% of cases. This type of cancer occurs in the pleura, which is the tissue surrounding and protecting the lungs. Researchers have conducted more clinical trial studies on this particular tumor than any other variant of the cancer, according to Asbestos.

Aggressive surgery typically gives the patient the best possible outcome for early-stage pleural Mesothelioma. However, many doctors often diagnose patients after symptoms begin to appear in later stages. Most patients suffering from this form are qualified to receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Undergoing these treatments can add months to years to your life expectancy.


  • Chest pain, weight loss, shortness of breath, fatigue and fever.

Life Expectancy:

  • 3-5 years at stage one. Approximately 1 year at stage four.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma has accounted for 10-20% of all cases. The good news is the prognosis for this form is better than pleural Mesothelioma. Peritoneal forms in the tissue surrounding the abdominal organs.

According to the data, nearly half of all peritoneal Mesothelioma patients are eligible for surgery with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC).


  • Loss of appetite, bowel changes, abdominal pain, bloating and swelling.

Life Expectancy:

  • 5+ years after undergoing HIPEC surgery.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This tumor type of Mesothelioma is very uncommon, with only 1% of all cases connected to this form. When undergoing surgery, patients can live many years beyond the typical six-month life expectancy.

The pericardial type of this cancer forms in the protective heart valve, which is known as the pericardium.


  • Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing and coughing.

Life Expectancy:

  • Between 6 weeks and 15 months, on average.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular Mesothelioma will develop in the outer lining of the testes, known as the tunica vaginalis. This form is even more rare than pericardial, accounting for less 1% of all reported Mesothelioma cases.


  • Painless testicular lumps and scrotal swelling.

Life Expectancy:

  • 2+ years after undergoing treatments like surgery and chemotherapy.

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