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Treating Pericardial Mesothelioma in Canada

Only one percent of mesothelioma patients are diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma. It is so rare that it is often not diagnosed until after an autopsy. Pericardial mesothelioma often creates tumors that develop in the thin membranes of the pericardium in the heart. For most patients, life expectancy is six to ten months. Many patients don’t experience symptoms when cancer develops. Symptoms are usually caused by fluid buildup and thickening of the pericardial layers. The most common symptoms include difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, persistent coughing, fatigue, chest pain, and night sweats. Because pericardial mesothelioma symptoms often resemble common heart issues, it is usually diagnosed in the late stages. Mesothelioma Care helps pericardial mesothelioma patients in Canada determine the proper treatment to lengthen their prognosis.

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Diagnosing Pericardial Mesothelioma

Most pericardial mesothelioma patients live six to ten months after diagnosis. However, there have been patients who have lived for years with the proper treatment. It’s often hard to diagnose patients with pericardial mesothelioma because the symptoms resemble other common health issues. Doctors diagnose pericardial mesothelioma by assessing a patient’s symptoms, medical history, and current condition. One of the most common tests to determine any heart-related issues is an echocardiogram, which is like an ultrasound for your heart. If the doctors find abnormal growths, they will take a fluid or tissue sample and perform a biopsy. A CT scan or an MRI may also be done to detect pericardial tumors and identify cancerous cells.

Pericardial Mesothelioma Treatment

The best treatment for pericardial mesothelioma is surgery. However, most patients are not ideal candidates for invasive surgery. Since the heart lining is so close to the heart, surgery can damage the heart itself. If surgery is an option, removal of the tumor without removing the pericardium is ideal. If tumor removal is not an option, doctors can relieve pressure and minimize fluid buildup by removing the pericardium. Chemotherapy and other forms of standard cancer treatment are not usually beneficial to pericardial mesothelioma patients.

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