Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer often caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a toxic mineral that has been used in thousands of products for hundreds of years.
Many people in construction, remodeling and homebuilding trades were exposed to asbestos for years, and some of these individuals developed pericardial mesothelioma after inhaling tiny asbestos fibers that got into their bloodstream.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Is Rare but Deadly
Although it is possibly the least common asbestos-related form of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is extremely serious because it is so hard to detect. This form of mesothelioma impacts a person's heart lining, called the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma can be very hard to treat, especially because it is often detected in advanced stages.
The best patient outcomes arise in cases in which the pericardial mesothelioma is found early and dealt with aggressively by a multidisciplinary team of physicians. Common types of treatment include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and radical surgery.
Mesothelioma sufferers of any kind should consult with an experienced mesothelioma physician to go over their options. Treatment options are often influenced by the stage of mesothelioma, a patient's history and the risks implicated by a particular combination of therapies.
Mesothelioma and Navy Veterans
Navy veterans are one group of individuals with high numbers of mesothelioma cases compared with the general population. This is because asbestos was used heavily on ships for thermal insulation and to make parts more fire-resistant.
Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Navy veterans were often exposed to disturbed asbestos insulation in ships. A cloud of toxic smoke was often released when asbestos was disturbed and the inhaled asbestos fibers caused many veterans to develop pericardial mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
Navy mesothelioma cases are often hard to prove because symptoms can develop over a 20- to 40-year period and are often misdiagnosed. Many veterans do not realize that they have mesothelioma until long after their retirement and find it difficult to balance their demanding medical treatments with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claim.
An experienced mesothelioma litigation law firm can help veterans file mesothelioma-related VA claims and work to get a veteran the benefits that he or she is entitled to.