Pericardial Mesothelioma FAQ

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What is pericardial mesothelioma?

Pericardial Mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma cancer that accounts for approximately 5{fbf8a53d1a70e1db8f6dd14cd767dc2da8614fd6990abe9fd06f9f5849e91e0a} of all mesothelioma cases.  Cancerous cells build up on the lining of the heart.

What is the cause of pericardial mesothelioma?

Asbestos is the main cause of pericardial mesothelioma.  When exposed to asbestos without sufficient protection, dust and fibres from the asbestos are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs.  From here they can either pass into the lymphatic system and get transported to the lining of the heart or the fibres can just pass through to the heart over time.

Who is at risk from pericardial mesothelioma?

Those who have worked with asbestos constantly for a period of time without sufficient protection are those at risk.  These people include construction workers and those who work in asbestos manufacturing plants.  Individuals in contact with those in contact with asbestos are also at risk because asbestos fibres can cling to clothes and hair.

How much exposure to asbestos does it take to have a possibility of getting pericardial mesothelioma?

This varies depending on the concentration of the asbestos dust and fibres in the area but it has been recorded that those who have only been exposed for a couple of months have a chance of obtaining pericardial mesothelioma.

What are the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma?

Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are persistent coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations.  Other symptoms that patients may experience are weight loss, nausea and loss of appetite.

What is the latency period of pericardial mesothelioma?

All forms of mesothelioma have an extraordinarily long latency period (amount of time symptoms take to show up after having disease).  The latency period is between 30 – 50 years and so pericardial mesothelioma is usually discovered in elderly men who have had pericardial mesothelioma for most of their life but have never known it.

What is the prognosis for pericardial mesothelioma?

This is highly dependent on how early and how aggressively the cancerous cells are treated.  If the cancer is treated when it has fully developed and matured then the chances of a patient’s survival is very small.  The prognosis could be only a couple of months.

Is there any promising research for pericardial mesothelioma?

At the moment, research into pericardial mesothelioma is being conducted all over the USA in research labs and also many pharmaceutical companies are endeavouring to find new drugs for chemotherapy.  So far, there is still no cure for mesothelioma although researchers predict that new drugs will soon be discovered.

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