Malignancy means that there is a presence of cancerous cells that have the potential to spread and worsen. Cancer is “malignant,” meaning it has the potential to worsen, as opposed to benign (unharmful). Malignant mesothelioma is rare, but thousands of new diagnoses are made every year.
The most common type of malignant mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma – asbestos cancer that affects the lungs. About 75 percent or more individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have pleural mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers are most commonly inhaled, which is why it is common for it to affect the lungs.
Pericardial and Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma develops on the lining of the heart, while peritoneal mesothelioma develops on the lining of the abdomen. Regardless of the type of mesothelioma, the latency period is always long. For example, it typically takes around 30 years after initial exposure for symptoms to start surfacing.
It may be as many as 50+ years before a diagnosis can be made.
Symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma has a variety of symptoms, but some of the most common are:
- Chest pain
- Coughing (or coughing up blood)
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
Anyone experiencing serious symptoms should contact their doctor as soon as possible.
What Can Be Done?
More than 37,000 people have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed, we encourage you to get in touch with us. While nothing can take away a mesothelioma diagnosis, our goal is to help patients fight for the justice they and their families deserve.
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