The word “mesothelioma” is most often associated with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs. However, mesothelioma can also form in the linings of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) or heart (pericardial mesothelioma). Among these three types, pericardial mesothelioma is the least common, accounting for only about 6% of all mesothelioma diagnoses.
Pericardial Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Pericardial mesothelioma, like other forms of the disease, is caused by asbestos exposure. When asbestos is torn or damaged (during building demolition or repair of asbestos products, for example), tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When the asbestos dust is inhaled or swallowed, the fibers become embedded in the body’s tissues, inflaming the surrounding area and leading to the development of asbestos-related diseases like pericardial mesothelioma.
How asbestos ends up in the pericardium isn’t clear. One theory suggests that the fibers break down in the lungs and travel through the bloodstream to the pericardium. The lymphatic system can also carry asbestos from one part of the body to another. In any case, the transfer of asbestos fibers to the pericardium is neither simple nor direct, which is why pericardial mesothelioma is considered so rare.
How Pericardial Mesothelioma is Diagnosed
Pericardial mesothelioma usually remains undetected until symptoms appear, typically decades after the initial exposure to asbestos. The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, similar to those of pleural mesothelioma, include:
Additional symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma may include low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, and fluid retention.
If you experience any of these symptoms and have a history of asbestos exposure, see your doctor right away. He or she may conduct several studies to determine if you have pericardial mesothelioma, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or biopsies.
How Pericardial Mesothelioma is Treated
If you suffer from pericardial mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries due asbestos exposure. By filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, you could win compensation to replace lost wages, pay for your medical expenses, and take care of your family’s financial needs. To learn more, call Sokolove Law today at 1-888-360-4215.