There are four types of malignant Mesothelioma, they are named according to the area of the body which is affected by the cancer.

  1. Pleural (lungs)
  2. Peritoneal (abdomen)
  3. Pericardial (heart)
  4. Testicular.


The most common types are Pleural and Peritoneal. 90% of diagnoses are lung affected mesothelioma. The most common type is the  pleural mesothelioma which develops in the lining of the lungs or cavities. Though this is a deadly disease, the prognosis is very poor. The main cause is exposure to asbestos when the particles make way to lungs and attack. The symptoms may not be seen in some cases. Pleural mesothelioma can be diagnosed by a Biopsy and by imaging scans.


Peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the peritoneum(abdomen), the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. This is the second-most prevalent type of asbestos induced cancer.The microscopic particles of asbestos inhaled leads to cancerous tumours in the abdomen.This tumour in the fourth stage is too vast and a surgery is needed to remove the cancer however it is not recommended in this stage. Majority of tumours removed can subside severe pain and improve breathing. Statistical report says that peritoneal patients have a better chance at long-term survival than any other type of mesothelioma.


Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare type of disease. Pericardial mesothelioma forms in the lining of the heart. It is said to be of a rare type because of its limited treatment options. It involves removal of tumours near the heart which is the delicate organ and hence said to be dangerous. Doctors remove the small tumours by surgery. There are two layers surrounding the membrane outside the heart. The outer layer is called the parietal layer (heart sac), and  an inner layer is  known as epicardium or the visceral layer. Pericardial mesothelioma is found mostly in men than women, and it is diagnosed between the age of fifty and seventy. Chest pain, fatigue , shortness of breath are the main symptoms for this kind of Mesothelioma. Buildup of fluid and thickening of layers are also prominent symptoms.


Testicular mesothelioma is a cancer formed in the membrane lining that covers the testicles. This is called mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis which is found to be less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases. Research says that most cases have no history of asbestos exposure as there are currently no theories to explain how asbestos exposure might cause a primary tumor to grow in the testicles. Perhaps it is understood that once asbestos fibers inhaled are present  in the body, they could lodge in organs and cause inflammation or infection that develops mesothelioma. The fibers cause cancerous cells to divide abnormally, causing buildup of fluid in between the layers and facilitate development of tumors. Very less research is available on testicular type because of its rarity. Despite this, men with this type of cancer enjoy a significantly better prognosis than most people with other forms of Mesothelioma. Most studies says that the survival period is less than 25 months, and one patient lived about 15 years after diagnosis.