There are four types of malignant mesothelioma, each affecting a different part of the body. Where is mesothelioma most common?
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for approximately 75% of all new cases. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and commonly causes shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, and fatigue. Typically, treatments include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. While approximately 40% of patients survive one year after diagnosis, these treatments can add months or years to a person’s life expectancy.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen, is the second-most-common form of mesothelioma. Symptoms generally include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. The most effective treatment is heated chemotherapy. The prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma is generally relatively favorable, as approximately 1 in 4 patients survive three years.
Pericardial mesothelioma is rare, accounting for roughly 1% of all new cases. Often, patients have trouble breathing and experience chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and persistent cough. Of all the four types, pericardial mesothelioma has the worst prognosis, with only half of patients surviving six months. However, surgery may be effective in extending survival time.
The rarest type of mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma accounts for less than 1% of all new cases. This form of the disease is typically accompanied by scrotal swelling and the formation of lumps on the testes. Its prognosis is the most favorable, and surgery and chemotherapy may help patients outlive the average two-year life expectancy.