Benign mesothelioma refers to a non-cancerous tumor or tumors embedded in the mesothlium.
The difference between benign tumors and the cancerous forms is that benign tumors do not spread to nearby tissue. Malignant mesothelioma tumors, on the other hand, often spread quickly, making treatment both more difficult and more complex.
Symptoms of Benign Mesothelioma
The unfortunate situation is that benign lung cancer symptoms often resemble symptoms of malignant cancers. Actual benign mesothelioma cases are very rare, accounting for less than 10 percent of all mesothelioma cancer cases worldwide. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two without extensive testing or surgical procedures. So if you’re experiencing these symptoms, many doctors will assume that you have a malignant form of the cancer until proven otherwise.
The most common symptoms that may indicate benign mesothelioma include the following, according to the National Library of Medicine:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
These symptoms arise because of the growth of the benign tumor, which may be pressing on the lungs. Doctors may also notice a clubbed appearance of the fingers, often a sign of this kind of tumor. With clubbed fingers, the nail bed takes on a distorted angle, which is indicative of a dangerously low level of oxygen in the blood.
Of course, not all benign mesothelioma qualifies as benign lung cancer. A similarly non-cancerous tumor can also grow in the peritoneum, or the lining of the abdomen. In those cases, abdominal pain and swelling is the most common symptom.
Diagnosing Benign Mesothelioma
The same tests used for diagnosing malignant mesothelioma are used for diagnosing the benign form because it’s impossible to distinguish one from the other without the aid of sophisticated imaging or other procedures. The doctor may first suggest a regular X-ray followed by a CT scan, MRI, and biopsy. A biopsy is often the best way of knowing whether or not the tumor is benign.
Treating Benign Cases
A benign mesothelioma tumor, while not being malignant or immediately dangerous, should still be removed with surgery. Often, the only thing needed to remove a benign mesothelioma tumor is surgery, which has a fairly high success rate.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant or benign mesothelioma, contact mesothelioma treatment centers today to explore your treatment options. We look forward to helping you.