Causes: Development of mesothelioma is caused only by exposure to asbestos.
Common Symptoms: Mesothelioma symptoms manifest depending on the type and stage of mesothelioma cancer. Common symptoms for all types of mesothelioma include fatigue, fluid accumulation, coughing, breathing difficulties, muscle weakness, pleural effusion, fever or sweating and pain.
Diagnosis: Mesothelioma is generally diagnosed via imaging scans and biopsies.
Types of Mesothelioma: There are three main types of Mesothelioma, depending on where its located in the body. These types are pleural, peritoneal and pericardial. A very rare, accounting for less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases it is Testicular Mesothelioma (tunica vaginalis testis).
Stages of Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma cancer has staging systems in place, which track the progress of the disease.
Treatments: Multiple treatments that increase longevity are available for mesothelioma patients: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, clinical trials and other experimental treatments.
Prognosis: Mesothelioma prognosis is very poor. Without treatment, patients generally experience a shortened life expectancy. Mesothelioma life expectancy often ranges from about 6 to 21 months. However, there are many factors that contribute to life expectancy and each patient is unique. Through treatment and healthy habits some patients can outlive their prognosis significantly. The patient's overall health and age are also significant factors in the prognosis.
Cell Types: Mesothelioma has three cell types: Epithelioid, Sarcomatoid, and Biphasic. Each cell type affects prognosis differently.