Mesothelioma: The Killer with Three Faces, Pleural, Peritoneal and Pericardial
“When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma I was shocked and so was my wife. It’s not every day you hear something like that, you know, it’s not good news. I don’t know, you just gotta take it as it comes. I’m scared what’s gonna happen when I am gone, I guess, that’d be the biggest thing. We don’t have any family here, it’s just the two of us really. We don’t have anyone to fall back on. My wife, she’s scared, more scared than I am, but there’s nothing much you can do about it, really.”
What are the three types of mesothelioma and what are their symptoms?
“My husband Andrew had back pain that never went away. We went to many doctors. They said the same thing- “Nothing is there. Nothing is wrong.” They took an X-ray which showed a spot on my husband’s lung. They did not know exactly what it was. They asked him if they wanted a biopsy and Andrew agreed. The biopsy was supposed to take forty five minutes, but it wound up being four hours. Afterwards, the doctor came out with his eyes wide and expressed to me that my husband had pleural mesothelioma. I said “What?” I had never heard of it before.”
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, comprising approximately 75 % of all mesothelioma diagnoses nationwide. It develops in the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Once asbestos fibers are embedded inside of the pleura, pleural effusion (fluid buildup) ensues. Pleural mesothelioma shares many of the same symptoms that accompany peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, but it also has its own, unique symptoms, including:
- Pleural effusion: This is when fluid accumulates around the lungs
- Wheezing: Due to damaged lung tissue
- Night Sweats
- Coughing: Usually “persistent or painful” (Hub Pages)
- Pleurisy: Clinical term for difficult breathing
- Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
“We were trying to figure out how my husband got peritoneal mesothelioma. As a kid he grew up in an asbestos sided house, his dad worked on transmissions and his mom worked on brakes. She would come home in overalls covered in asbestos and cooked dinner without changing her clothes. As an adult, my husband got a job in a chemical company. There were boilers there and other stuff that was covered in asbestos, but he never really worked with any of it. So I mean, he could have been exposed at work, but I’m more inclined to believe that his parents exposed him to asbestos….”
Nationwide, Peritoneal mesothelioma comprises less than 20% of mesothelioma cases nationwide. It involves the peritoneum, which is the abdominal lining. The peritoneum consists of two layers: the parietal layer, which protects the abdominal cavity and the visceral layer, which encases the abdominal organs. When a person inhales asbestos fibers, the fibers attach themselves to the peritoneum tissue. Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Weight Loss
- Ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
- Bowel Obstruction
“When my dad began to have chest pains and heart palpitations, his doctor diagnosed him with pericardial mesothelioma. Dad explained his history of employment, thinking about every opportunity through which he could have been exposed to asbestos. The first was right after high school ,when he was working in the shipyards of Chester, Pennsylvania, just before World War II. Dad also specialized in building furnaces, and since asbestos was a fire retardant, he was probably exposed that way, too. Knowing what I do now, I have probably been exposed, as well as everyone in my family. It’s in the environment, it’s in housing, it’s in some types of glue- everywhere. It’s very prevalent. And my dad, unfortunately, got the worst of it.”
Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest type of the disease. It “accounts for less than 5% of reported cases.” (Mesothelioma Symptoms) This type of mesothelioma involves the pericardium, the fluid filled lining which encases the heart. This fluid itself is not necessarily a symptom of mesothelioma, but it is a byproduct of the ever expanding cancerous tumor. As the mesothelioma cancer grows in the lining of the heart, it causes the surrounding tissue to expand. This expansion puts pressure on the heart as well as surrounding organs such as the lungs. Patients with pericardial mesothelioma may experience a number of cardiac related symptoms such as:
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heartbeat
- Persistent heartburn
- Chest Pain
- Low Blood Pressure
Weitz and Luxenberg: We Can Get Justice For Mesothelioma Patients
Weitz and Luxenberg has been a leader in Mesothelioma and asbestos related litigation for over two decades. We have achieved more favorable verdicts and settlements for clients who have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, Asbestos Lung Cancer or Asbestosis following exposure to asbestos. Most of those who have Mesothelioma, developed it after being exposed to high concentrations of asbestos fibers in their former work environments. Instead of being able to enjoy their retirement years, these people must struggle just to breathe properly.
We at Weitz and Luxenberg have the qualifications and experience necessary to hold asbestos companies accountable for neglecting to protect the health and safety of their employees.
For a free legal review of your mesothelioma case, please fill out the form on this page. All communication will be strictly confidential, and there is no fee unless we secure a monetary verdict or settlement for you.