The pericardium is the membrane that lines and protects the heart. Pericardial mesothelioma occurs when tumors form in the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma is exceedingly rare, accounting for anywhere between 1 and 10 percent of mesothelioma cases. Unfortunately, individuals with pericardial mesothelioma face a very poor prognosis in the vast majority of cases. Pericardial mesothelioma is fatal, and those diagnosed with the disease often have only months to live. Over half of the people with this disease die within six months of diagnosis.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma, the only known cause of this disease is exposure to asbestos. Doctors are not certain as to how asbestos fibers reach the pericardium, although many theorize that asbestos fibers that enter the body through the lungs are absorbed into the bloodstream and lodged in the pericardium. In any event, your disease was very likely the result of a business allowing you and countless others to be exposed to asbestos. The symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases may not appear for 30, 40 or 50 years from the initial exposure to asbestos.