Pericardial mesothelioma is a very rare form of mesothelioma and accounts for approximately 5% of all mesothelioma cases. This form of mesothelioma affects the lining that surrounds the heart and is a deadly cancer if not treated agressively in its early stages.
The cause of pericardial mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. As little as a couple of months of exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to pericardial mesothelioma between 30-50 years later. Due to this long latency period of the disease, it is very difficult to diagnose before the cancer has developed and matured fully. Those suffering from mesothelioma are elderly men aged 60-70 because this was the generation that worked with asbestos with little protection from its dust and fibres. The symptoms of the cancer have just started to show for these men due to the long time that the effects of mesothelioma take to come out. Many of these men are now lodging multi-million dollar lawsuits against the companies who exposed them to asbestos without sufficient protection. Asbestos fibres reach the lining of the heart by being inhaled and then getting lodged in the lungs. From the lungs they can either move into the lymphatic system and get transported to the lining of the heart or they can just pass slowly to the lining of the heart over time. Over a long period of time being exposed to asbestos, these fibres build up and once enough have accumilated in the lining heart, pericardial mesothelioma is a possibility.
There are a number of symptoms assosiated with pericardial mesothelioma. However, these are only felt when the cancer has matured and is in its late stages of development. These symptoms include, persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations. Other symptoms typical of all types of mesothelioma include loss of appetite, nausea and weight loss. Anyone who recognises that they have these symptoms or know someone who does then is encouraged by all leading medical advisors to seek medical help immediately. For more information on the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma go to http://www.1-mesothelioma.co.uk
There is no certain cure to pericardial mesothelioma and all of the treatment methods used have a poor success rate. The chances of survival of a patient depend strongly on how early and aggressively the cancer is treated. This is why it is important to receive a diagnosis for pericardial mesothelioma as soon as possible. Treatment methods include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. More information on these methods of treatment can be found at http://www.1-mesothelioma.co.uk/treatment.html.
Research into cures for pericardial mesothelioma is being conducted in labs all over the United States and many pharmaceutical companies are also investigating new drugs. As yet, research has only discovered a limited amount.