Mesotheliomas are a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma in the lungs is called pleural mesothelioma and is the most common type. However, pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma are even rarer forms.
These types of mesothelioma grow in the heart and in the abdomen. A team of researchers from the United States wanted to learn more. They looked at patients who were hospitalized with these unusual types of cancer.
Patients of Uncommon Mesothelioma Types
They ran a study looking at patients with pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma who went to the hospital from 2016 to 2020. They split the patients into two groups. First, those with pericardial mesothelioma. And second, those with peritoneal mesothelioma.
The researchers looked at many factors. These were the patient’s age, how long they stayed in the hospital, how much it cost, and whether they had other health problems. They studied over 1,000 patients who fit their criteria. Out of those, 1,005 had peritoneal mesothelioma, and 100 had pericardial mesothelioma.
Most affected patients were older, with an average age of 62.8 years. More men than women were diagnosed with both types of mesothelioma, but pericardial mesothelioma had a bit more men (75% men and 25% women). In both groups, most patients were White (75%). There were fewer Hispanic, Black, and Asian/Pacific Islander patients.
Nearly all patients had other health problems in addition to mesothelioma. Managing multiple health problems was more common in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. High blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic lung problems were the most common other health problems in both groups.
Most patients were treated in big teaching hospitals in urban areas. These types of hospitals have special tools and experts to help with complex diseases like mesothelioma. On average, patients stayed in the hospital for almost eight days. Interestingly, patients with pericardial mesothelioma had higher hospital stay costs than those with peritoneal mesothelioma.
From their study, the researchers learned that pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma are more likely to affect older Caucasian men. These patients often have other health problems, which makes their care more complex.
This study helps shed light on pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma, but there’s still much to learn. More research is needed to uncover the reasons behind the patterns that the researchers observed. This knowledge will be important in developing better ways to diagnose and treat all types of mesothelioma.
Guevara N, Francis-Morel G, Perez E, Gupta S. Peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma: A nationwide cross-sectional study. Chest. 2023;164(4):A1740. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2023.07.1198. https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(23)02236-5/fulltext