Pericardial mesothelioma is the form of mesothelioma which affects your heart. It is a rare form of mesothelioma, making up about five percent of all mesothelioma cases.
What is pericardial mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the protective lining around your chest cavity, the cavity around your heart, abdominal cavity, and internal reproductive organs. It produces a lubricating fluid that enables your organs to move and function properly.
The mesothelium around your heart is called the pericardium. It is a protective sac around your heart which provides the lubrication your heart requires to beat properly.
Pericardial mesothelioma can go on for years before it produces symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, it has usually done too much damage to recover. The first noticeable symptom is usually chest pain. Symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heart beat
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent coughing
How it Develops
Asbestos fibers are tiny and sharp. Typically they are inhaled into the lungs. From there they can get into the blood stream and pass through the heart. When they reach the heart they can pierce through into the pericardium. There they shred and inflame the pericardium, eventually causing cancerous tumors to form.
Effects of Pericardial Mesothelioma
The heart must have constant lubrication to function and beat properly. Pericardial mesothelioma can interfere with the lubrication.
Tumor growth can cause the tissue around the heart to expand and cause fluid to accumulate. The build up of fluid can cause chest pain and interfere with the functioning of the heart causing irregular heart beat and palpitations.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or asbestosis, contact and experienced asbestos exposure attorney today.