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There are different types of mesothelioma

If you ever worked around asbestos, you may already be aware that it could cause you to develop a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma. Whether a particular person develops this incurable disease depends on numerous factors, but that may not be the most unique characteristic of this particular form of cancer. It could take decades after your exposure to asbestos for you to even know whether you will end up with a diagnosis of this condition.

Asbestos was widely used up through the 1970s when the government began curtailing its use after doctors discovered that the fibers from this toxic substance can adhere to the lungs and cause inflammation that could scar the lungs of a person who inhaled it. It may take decades, but this could turn into mesothelioma.

The most common type of mesothelioma

Over the years, doctors discovered that four types of this cancer exist. Approximately 75 percent of all cases are pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissues surrounding the lungs due to the inhalation of asbestos fibers or dust. You may experience the following symptoms if you suffer from this form of the disease: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Unexplained weight loss

Lumps may even develop under your skin in your chest. Your doctor will put you through a battery of tests that may include several types of imaging tests and a biopsy in order to make a diagnosis. Your treatment depends on how advanced your condition is.

Other types of mesothelioma

If you swallow asbestos fibers or dust, your doctor may diagnose you with peritoneal mesothelioma. This form of the disease attacks your abdominal cavity and the organs in your abdomen. It affects anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of people exposed to asbestos. Weight loss, lumps in your belly and pain or swelling in your abdominal region are the most often seen symptoms.

Only around 1 percent of patients suffer from pericardial mesothelioma. This form of the disease attacks the sac surrounding the heart. Symptoms include pain in your chest, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. You may also experience coughing.

The methods of diagnosing these types of the cancer, along with the treatments, tend to follow the same basic protocol as they do for pleural mesothelioma.

The rarest form of mesothelioma

The rarest type of mesothelioma attacks the testicles. The only symptom that doctors agree on is that a mass may develop on the scrotum that causes no pain. It is often diagnosed through a biopsy. Doctors haven't developed a standard treatment since this type is so rare.

Regardless of what type of this cancer your doctor diagnoses you with, you deserve the chance to receive the compensation you deserve.

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