Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest type of the three main malignant forms of the disease. The heart, as with any organ that requires constant movement to work properly, requires constant lubrication. Lubrication comes in the form of a thin layer of mucous, and in normal systems the heart beats on as normal.
Effects on the Pericardium
Pericardial mesothelioma affects the pericardium, the protective sac that covers the heart and provides lubrication so that it can beat properly. Asbestos exposure is the most common culprit of this debilitating form of cancer, a type that usually comprises 5% of all mesothelioma cases.
Inhaled asbestos fibers can pierce and shred the pericardium and cause mutations that can result in mesothelioma. Once the cancer begins to spread, it can cause chronic coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. Like the other forms of the cancer, decades pass without incident as pericardial mesothelioma slowly destroys the tissues around the heart. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear it is usually far too late to treat pericardial mesothelioma with conventional drugs or therapies.
Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Different degrees of chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heart beat
Treatments for pericardial mesothelioma.
There are a few marginally effective treatments for victims of pericardial mesothelioma. Radiation treatments are usually the preferred course of action to help slow the spread of the cancer, and chemotherapy can provide help in bolstering the effects of the radiation. Another type of treatment involves “fine needle aspiration” to draw out excess fluid that collects in the pericardium, which can help relieve some symptoms. In rare cases, doctors perform surgery to remove the pericardium, although this is usually a treatment of last resort. This course of action usually only slows the growth of pericardial mesothelioma, for no amount of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation will fully eliminate the cancer.
If you or a loved one developed pericardial mesothelioma as a consequence of asbestos exposure, you deserve a voice and you may have the right to seek financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Let a dedicated and compassionate mesothelioma lawyer help you get the restitution you deserve. You must act quickly, for the statute of limitations in your state could end your case before it has a chance to begin. Don’t wait - contact someone who understands your fear and frustration today.