Pleural mesothelioma is the cancer of the heart lining or
chest lining. The pleura is the membrane that surrounds
the abdomen cavity around the lungs.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma range from
shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and
pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is the accumulation of fluid
between the chest linings. The syptoms can become quite
serous over time as the pleural effusion will exert great force
on surrounding organs and lead to great pain.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most
commong form of mesothelioma accounting for over 80% of all
cases. Every year there are a few thousand cases newly
diagnosed in the United States. The survival rate is
extremely low and the survival time is often less than 1 year from time of
diagnosis. If this disease is diagnosed early, it
is possible to treat it with radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery is not
very commonly used to treat this disease. Most
patients are diagnosed too late. But some fortunate patients accidentally discover
this disease when having an x-ray or
cat scans for another reason. The actual diagnosis of
this disease will require a biopsy.
This disease is caused by direct or indirect exposure to
asbestos approximately 20 to 40 years in the past.
Pleural mesothelioma is different from lung cancer in that is
does not directly target the lungs but rather the linings near