Is Mesothelioma A Cancer?

November 16, 2017  |  Mesothelioma

Long names of diseases and medical conditions can be confusing for many of us. But one of the most important things a patient (or a patient’s family member/friend) can do is research the disease that’s affecting them and better understand the situation.

Mesothelioma vs. lung cancer

For mesothelioma patients, it’s crucial to know that their disease is not technically a type of lung cancer. This is because asbestos in the lung tissue causes lung cancer — while asbestos in the pleural lining of the lungs causes pleural mesothelioma.

While asbestos exposure can cause both of these diseases, mesothelioma is labeled a cancer, but not specifically classified as a lung cancer.

However, there are similarities in both symptoms and treatments:

  • Symptoms = Patients with mesothelioma or lung cancer can experience shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss; these symptoms usually appear late in each cancer’s development.
  • Treatments = Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are used to treat each of these cancers, although the overall treatment plans are different; for example, photodynamic therapy can be used for both, but is commonly prescribed for lung cancer while it’s only experimental for mesothelioma.

Types of mesothelioma

There are four types of malignant mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma = occurs in the lining of the lungs (pleura); about 90% of all mesothelioma diagnoses
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma = affects the lining of the abdominal cavity
  • Pericardial mesothelioma = originates in the lining of the heart (pericardium)
  • Testicular mesothelioma = is the most rare type; less than 1% of all mesothelioma diagnoses

Know the difference

Please remember: While mesothelioma is a cancer, it is not technically a lung cancer — and this is of the utmost importance when it comes to treatment decisions. One of the other key decisions that mesothelioma patients need to consider is their legal options. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact the mesothelioma lawyers at Baron & Budd immediately. You can reach us online or call 855-280-7664.

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