If you have been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with cancer as a result, your physician will have told you what specific type of asbestos cancer you have. This may leave you wondering what other types of cancers can be caused by asbestos. The illness most commonly associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, but even this disease can take a number of different forms. Here’s a roster of the different types of asbestos cancers:
The most common type of asbestos cancer is pleural mesothelioma. Three-fourths of mesothelioma cases are pleural. This cancer develops when asbestos fibers become imbedded in the lining of the lungs which is known as the pleura.
The second most common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. Between a tenth and one-fifth of all mesothelioma cases are peritoneal. This cancer develops in the peritoneum – the mesothelial lining of the abdomen after asbestos fibers become imbedded there.
One of the two extremely rare types of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma. This develops after asbestos fibers come into contact with the pericardium – the exterior lining of the heart. This type of mesothelioma accounts for five percent or less of all mesotheliomas.
The rarest form of mesothelioma is testicular mesothelioma. This accounts for less than one percent of all mesothelioma cases. Because this form of the disease is so rare, very little is known about how asbestos causes the illness.
Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most common types of asbestos-caused illnesses. Most lung cancers (around 96%) are not caused by asbestos but if you have been exposed to asbestos and are a smoker, the risk of developing this type of cancer is greatly increased.
Laryngeal cancer is cancer of the larynx (voice box). This is a rare cancer – less than one percent of all cancers are laryngeal and only a small portion of these can be attributed to asbestos exposure. Smoking and other lifestyle factors can increase the risks.
There are a number of other cancers that studies have shown can be caused by asbestos. Kidney cancer, colon cancer, intestinal cancer, esophageal cancer and gallbladder cancer have all been associated with asbestos exposure in studies but not in a significant enough amount to draw a correlation.
Other Cancer Classifications
The first four classifications of mesothelioma (above) are labeled by the origin point of the cancer in the body. There are also classifications by cell type. These are listed below.
Roughly 50 to 70 percent of mesothelioma is epithelial mesothelioma. This refers to the type of cancer cells that form. With this type of mesothelioma, no matter where in the body it is located, the prognosis may be better than with other manifestations of mesothelioma.
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of mesotheliomas produce sarcomatoid cancer cells. This is the most aggressive of the three histological forms of cancer and has the poorest prognosis.
Some mesothelioma cancer tumors will have a combination of sarcomatoid and epithelial cells present. This is typical in 20 to 35 percent of mesothelioma cases. The greater the percentage of epithelial cells versus sarcomatoid will determine your prognosis.
Bergman Draper Oslund Can Help with Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help. Bergman Draper Oslund only works with mesothelioma victims and has been fighting for their rights for more than 15 years. We have won more than $700 million in settlements for our clients and can help you too. Call us for an immediate free consultation about making a compensation claim for the asbestos exposure that caused your illness or that of your loved one.