Pericardial mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of the disease and occurs when asbestos fibers embed themselves in the lining around the heart causing it to function improperly. This form is often discovered after death because it is hard to diagnose. While asbestos has been linked to pericardial mesothelioma, researchers believe asbestos is also connected to other forms of mesothelioma or diseases like lung cancer.
To diagnose pericardial mesothelioma, imaging tests, such as x-rays and CT scans, are used. These tests are often ordered in response to irregularities in the chest cavity. Pathological examination of tissue or fluid obtained through a biopsy or autopsy is used to confirm a diagnosis.
Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma often mimic other diseases making it difficult to diagnose. Pericardial mesothelioma can be misdiagnosed as other forms of cancer as well as heart disease, tuberculous, pericarditis and lupus.
Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Pericardial effusion
- Abnormal heart beat
Since pericardial mesothelioma is rare and often diagnosed at later stages, treatment options are limited. With few reported cases, there isn’t a large body of research regarding treatment nor are there many clinical trials for the disease. The most common options for treating the disease, when it is discovered, are surgery and chemotherapy. Surgery tries to remove tumors and cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is commonly used to offer symptomatic relief.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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