Mesothelioma Doesn’t Grow Like Other Cancers, do you know?

Did you know that mesothelioma it just doesn’t grow like a normal cancer grows?

Hi. I’m a mesothelioma trial attorney in New York City. And I want to talk to you about the disease process and how mesothelioma presents itself. When we hear about cancer and we hear about words like tumor, most people (most of us) think of a discreet golf ball like tumor.

And we talk about what’s the size of it? Well, it was this big or that big and we think in round terms, in mass terms. But mesothelioma doesn’t grow that way. Mesothelioma is a tumor of the pleural surface which is a wrapping, a sack-like wrapping that’s on the outside of the lungs and it’s between the lung and the ribcage. So in this area that’s where mesothelioma grows.

And it doesn’t present as a golf ball or a baseball or a grapefruit. It’s not measured in that type of range. Here we have an anatomical drawing of the anatomy of a mesothelioma tumor. And this here is the lung and this is a cross section. So these are the ribs. And the air is being pulled back in this drawing to demonstrate this area here is the pleural surface and you can see that the entire surface is filled with a mesothelioma tumor. This is malignant mesothelioma as it appears in this entire cross section, even extending over here near the heart.

Now when a patient is diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, usually the first symptom they have is a pleural effusion which is, simply stated, fluid on their chest. And often the physicians who diagnose this will see this in a chest x-ray. And here we have a representation of a chest x-ray of a patient with pleural mesothelioma. And what we know is that not this darkened section but the white section – sometimes doctors refer to it as ‘the whiteout of the lung.’ This is abnormal that the chest x-ray would show such a light coloring, such a whiteout.

This is indicative of a tumor growing on the pleural surface. And that’s a description of how a tumor presents in the human body and of course the way it presents dictates the way it can be treated. It dictates the type of surgical techniques that can be used in an attempt to remove or to decrease the size of the tumor and it dictates the other therapies, such as chemotherapy and how those are administered.

I’m sure you have many more questions about mesothelioma. I invite you to send us a message with your questions, we deal with these cases every day. Thank you for reading us.