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What is The Difference Between Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma?

When new clients come into my office, they often talk to me about their lung cancer, and they mention mesothelioma, but they don’t really understand the difference. So I want to talk to you about that difference now. Hi, I’m Joe Williams. I’m a mesothelioma trial attorney, and I want going to talk to you a little bit about these two different diseases, both of which can be caused by asbestos. First, let’s talk about lung cancer. Lung cancer is a malignancy that grows within the lung itself.

Now, here in this anatomical drawing, the lungs are represented here. This is known as the lung parenchyma. It’s a spongy organ that is within the bony ribcage. Now, lung cancer, as it’s known. And there are many different cell types of lung cancer, but lung cancer just generally is a discrete tumor inside the parenchyma, inside the tissue of the lung. So you’ve heard the term golf ball like like tumor. Sometimes doctors refer to it as a nodule. And that’s the kind of tumor that happens within the lung tissue. And again, there’s different cell types, but it’s generally called lung cancer.

Now, mesothelioma is very different. Mesothelioma is a very specific cancer, and it’s really only two different cell types, epithelial mesothelioma or sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Or it can be a combination of the two, and that’s called biphasic mesothelioma. But no matter which cell type it is, mesothelioma is a tumor, a malignant tumor of the lining outside the lung. Now, outside the lung, you see this whitish Gray substance here. That’s the pleura. There’s a parietal pleura and a visceral pleura. And these two pleural surfaces interact with the outside of the lung and the inside of the ribcage. And in between the two of them, there’s a little bit of liquid. So as our diaphragm involuntarily contracts, it pushes the spongy lung tissue, the spongy lung organ up and allows us to take a breath. But the pleural surface allows the lung to slide along inside the bony ribcage, and we don’t even know what it happened. It’s involuntary. But when someone has malignant mesothelioma, a tumor of these floral surfaces, just breathing can cause pain. And also the tumor pushes in on the spongy lung tissue contracts. The lung can’t get a full breath.

Mesothelioma victims experience shortness of breath because of that. The mesothelioma tumor does not grow like a golf ball. It’s a diffuse tumor that grows in a diffuse pattern along the pleural surface and tends to encase the lung area. Some have described it like the rind of a grapefruit. It’s a diffuse tumor. So those are some of the differences between lung cancer and mesothelioma. And I’m telling you this because you have questions about measleoma, about asbestos exposure.

I’m Joe Williams at my office. We handle cases for victims of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Every day we deal with these issues. You deal with these questions each and every day. If you have questions, I invite you to contact our office we’ll answer your questions. Thank you for watching.

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