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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can be classified into two major groups, benign and malignant. Malignant mesothelioma is organized into four main categories based on the location of the tumor:

  1. pleural – found in the chest cavity, on the surface of the lung and on the diaphragm,
  2. peritoneal – found in the abdomen on the surface of the omentum and visceral organs,
  3. pericardial – growing on the exterior surface of the pericardium, or lining of the heart, and
  4. testicular – noted as a thickening of the ducts and glands in the testes.

While the rarest of the mesos, testicular mesothelioma is the second most common type of testicular cancer after soft tissue tumors.

Each of these categories of mesothelioma is further divided into one of three subtypes, epithelial, sarcomatoid or mixed. Among the total spectrum of asbestos patients there are a smaller number of cases with different cancers, such as lung cancer and metastatic cancer of the liver, kidneys, bones and other organs. (m) In addition, sarcomatous varieties have been judged to be extremely aggressive, and are often associated with intracranial metastases – brain tumors.

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