What is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Linked to asbestos exposure, pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. Of the three main types of mesothelioma – pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial – pleural mesothelioma is the most common, occurring in around 2,500 cases a year in the United States.
In What Part of the Body Does Pleural Mesothelioma Occur?
Mesothelioma gets its name because it develops in the mesothelium, a membrane that lines many of the body’s organs. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, the disease develops in the pleura, a sheet like lining that surrounds the lungs.
As the disease develops around the lungs, fluid can enter the space, causing intense pain, shortness of breath and overwhelming fatigue.
Please note that mesothelioma has a long latency period. Because of this, symptoms often do not appear until 25-50 years after asbestos exposure occurs. And often the disease is not detected until it is in a later stage. If you suspect that you may be experiencing any symptoms associated with mesothelioma, contact your healthcare professional immediately.
In specific relation to pleural mesothelioma, symptoms are related to the expansion of the tumor and fluid in the chest cavity, which can compromise lung function. Other common symptoms include:
What makes this type of mesothelioma so hard to diagnose is that many of these symptoms are associated with a number of other illnesses. For a more complete listing of symptoms, see our Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms Page. Or contact the Meso Foundation’s Nurse Practitioner for expert help.
Treatment options can vary depending on the staging of the disease, however, the three most common options include: