Monday, August 1, 2011

Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is a term that refers to nearly every case of mesothelioma. Although previously some medical professionals used the term benign mesothelioma to refer to some forms of mesothelioma, this has changed in recent years. Conditions that were formerly called benign mesothelioma have now been reclassified as another, separate condition.

What does malignant mean?

In general, malignant is a term used to describe conditions that are getting worse. For cancer, this usually means that the tumor is growing; affecting healthy tissue located nearby, and that it may metastasize.

What is malignant mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the mesothelium, the tissues that supports and protects organs within the body. There are four types of malignant mesothelioma, although testicular mesothelioma is so rare that less than one hundred cases have been reported. The three more common forms of this cancer include pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial.

- Pleural mesothelioma affects the tissues around the lungs and the lungs themselves. This is the most common form of mesothelioma. About three out of every four cases of mesothelioma are classified as pleural mesothelioma.

- Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal region of patients who are diagnosed with this disease. It is concentrated in the tissues surrounding these organs. Peritoneal is the second most common form of the disease, comprising between 10 and 20 percent of all cases.

- Pericardial mesothelioma, the most rare of these three forms, affects the tissues surrounding the heart. It is far less common than the other two forms but more common than testicular mesothelioma.

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