Mesothelioma vs. Asbestos Related Lung Cancer

Mesothelioma vs. Asbestos-Related Cancer

Unlike asbestos-related cancer, pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs rather than the inside of the lung. It can also affect the heart, abdomen and testes.   Both asbestos-related cancer and mesothelioma take decades to develop, it can take a short period of time for them to metastasize or spread.  Asbestos-related lung cancer occurs due to asbestos embedding itself in the lung tissue inside the lung. While asbestos-related lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma involve similar procedures and symptoms, they have different treatment and physicality. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, but smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.

Asbestos exposure causes six times more cases of lung cancer than mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure can cause other types of cancer, however, lung cancer claims the most lives of all asbestos-related diseases.  Out of all asbestos-related illnesses, lung cancer is the greatest killer.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Diagnosing Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer

Your doctor will probably want to do an imaging test and blood test, which could result in requesting a biopsy.

Imaging Test

The first step your doctor will probably take would be to have an X-ray.  After the X-ray is complete, if any troublesome abnormalities or masses are found,  he may want added tests such as CT scan, PET scan or MRI.

Blood Marker Tests

Certain blood markers are high in patients with mesothelioma.  Your doctor may order blood test to see if specific substances (fibulin-3 and soluble mesothelin-related peptides) are present in higher levels than normal.


If the imaging and blood tests indicate the possibility of the presence of cancer, the doctor will refer the patient to a surgeon to take a biopsy (taking a tissue sample).  This is the only definitive way to diagnose mesothelioma.

Steps to Diagnose Mesothelioma 

You will want to take the following steps to determine a diagnosis of mesothelioma:

  1. Reach out to your doctor.  If they are unable to do the test for you, they can refer you to an oncologist.
  2. Have the imaging done which can include CT scans, PET scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds.
  3. Get Biopsy.  You will be referred to a surgeon for a biopsy to be performed.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The severity and progression of the cancer will impact the symptoms you experience: 

  • Persistent coughing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest discomfort or pain

  • Hoarseness or wheezing

  • Coughing up blood

  • Attack of diarrhea

  • Fatigue and loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Chronic respiratory infections

  • Becoming constipated

These symptoms only arise once the cancer has developed and is tougher to treat. People with a history of asbestos exposure need regular screenings for asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma Treatment

In the treatment of cancer, you will have a number of different types of doctors (a multidisciplinary team) who will create a treatment plan that combines different types of treatments to give the patient the best “Standard of Care” available at the time. Cancer care teams will include a number of other healthcare professionals, such as your physician and his team of assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and others. There are several treatments for Mesothelioma which will depend upon the type of cancer you have and how it has spread.


  • Chemotherapy – is used to kill the cancer cells to prevent the spread of the cancer.  One or more anti-cancer drugs can be used.  It can be used to lessen the symptoms or prolong life.

  • Radiation Therapy – is a therapy that may be used by administering ionizing radiation as a part of patient’s treatment to kill the malignancy.

  • Immunotherapy – can be used as a treatment for cancer by activating or surpressing the immune system.

  • Surgery – can be used to remove the malignancy.

Start Your Case Review

Fill Out the Form to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Lung Disease Monitoring Contact Form
What Services Are You Interested In?

Call Williams Law Group Today


Asbestos Lung Disease
& Other Cases: 601-707-3492

Contact Us

912 Convent Ave.
Pascagoula, MS 39567