Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the protective sac lining several internal organs. Mesothelioma X-ray images often depict aggressive tumors in various areas of the abdomen because there are different types of mesothelioma. Cancer pictures from mesothelioma patients will sometimes include the lungs, but they also may include the stomach, heart, or other areas. Here are the three main categories of this illness:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma: X-ray images of this kind of mesothelioma will depict the lungs, as it affects the lining of the lungs. This is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for nearly 70 percent of cases.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Imaging of this type of the disease will depict the greater abdominal region, as it attacks the lining of the stomach.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma: Cancer pictures will be focused around the heart in this case, as this type attacks the lining of the heart. This is the rarest form of mesothelioma, only accounting for about 5 percent of cases.

How to Tell Mesothelioma Apart From Other Cancers

Due to the fact that mesothelioma imaging most often depicts the lungs, many people confuse mesothelioma for a type of lung cancer, which it is not. It can affect many areas of sensitive lining, though it is most often found in areas around the lungs.

Mesothelioma is also confused with lung cancer because it has some of the same symptoms as common lung cancer, including shortness of breath, chest pain, chronic cough, weight loss, or fatigue. It may also correlate with a loss of appetite. The difference lies in where the tumors reside within the body.

Another difference is that lung cancer can be caused by a variety of different carcinogens, whereas mesothelioma is most related to a consistent culprit: asbestos. Asbestos is a natural mineral that is made up of strong, durable fibers. Due to its strength and resistance to heat and fire, asbestos was once considered to be an ideal material in a number of different industries and was used to manufacture thousands of products and building materials. During the manufacturing process, however, asbestos is broken down and the fibers pull apart. The fibers, once separated, are easy to swallow and ingest. Once ingested, the durable fibers can become lodged in the mesothelium and after a period of time cause the development of this dangerous cancer.

What to Do if You Think You Have Mesothelioma

It’s important to talk to your doctor about any asbestos exposure you may have had in the past and your mesothelioma risks. It’s important to also note that the symptoms of mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to develop after the initial exposure. After finding a diagnosis, you’ll want to then discuss treatment options with your doctor. It also may be in your best interests to contact a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you find ways to pay for your treatments and discuss your legal rights. Contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today.