The vast majority of mesothelioma cases involve the lungs. In fact, the data suggests that around 75% of all cases involving this asbestos-related cancer involve the inhalation of the toxic substance.
However, you may need to be aware of other, even more rare forms of mesothelioma if you ever suffered exposure to asbestos. Not everyone develops a cough or chest pain. Since early treatment is crucial when it comes to this cancer, you may want at least a basic understanding of the other types so that you can better identify symptoms and receive medical attention as soon as possible.
The next highest percentage of mesothelioma sufferers develop the condition in their abdomen, or peritoneum. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15% to 20% receive a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma because, at some point during their exposure to the carcinogen, they ingested asbestos fibers, perhaps along with inhaling them. Those fibers then begin damaging the lining of one's abdominal cavity and the organs there. Watch for the following symptoms:
- Pain in your belly
- Swelling in your belly
- Lumps in your abdominal area
- Unexplained weight loss
Depending on how far the disease has progressed, treatments include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
Only around 1% of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma suffer from this type. The cancer develops in the sac of tissue surrounding the heart. Doctors remain unsure how it develops. If you have the following symptoms, you may be part of that 1%:
- Heart palpitations
- Chronic and persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
This is not the rarest type of mesothelioma, however. A handful of men develop testicular mesothelioma. The only commonality among them appears to be pain in the scrotum. The men who have developed it appear to range in age from 55 to 75. Doctors understand even less about it than they do pericardial mesothelioma.
No type is good
Whether you suffer from the most common or the rarest form of this cancer, none of it is good. No cure exists, and your medical treatment will undoubtedly be arduous, physically and emotionally exhausting, and expensive. Most people who suffer from mesothelioma had exposure to asbestos while at work. You may be able to pursue compensation for your current condition even though the exposure occurred decades before your diagnosis.
This is a complex area of the law, and you may want to consult with a Louisiana attorney experienced in it to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.