You’re a mesothelioma patient. You just received your diagnosis. Now you’re trying to understand the disease you have.

How much do you know about it? Can you recite the names of surgeries used for mesothelioma? Do you know the chemotherapy drugs used to treat this cancer? Have you learned the common symptoms of the disease?

Are you able to identify the different types of mesothelioma and distinguish them from one another?

Let’s just start there. As you likely know by now, there are three main types of this cancer: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.

They are all caused by asbestos exposure, and they’re both very destructive to the body. However, the similarities mostly stop there — and with their namesake.

As a mesothelioma patient or the loved one of a patient, you should know the difference between each type of mesothelioma. They have different treatment approaches, life expectancies, latency periods and more. Understanding these contrasts could help you proactively attack your disease and recovery.

We at Mesothelioma Guide prepared a quiz. Simply answer each question by identifying whether it pertains to pleural, peritoneal or pericardial mesothelioma. Then check your answers with the correct ones at the bottom.

cytoreduction with hipec

Questions About Mesothelioma

Question #1: Which type accounts for approximately 10-15 percent of all mesothelioma cases?

Question #2: Radiation is used as a treatment option for which type of mesothelioma?

Question #3: Which of the three forms of this disease is associated with the acronym “HIPEC”?

Question #4: Which type of mesothelioma is linked to ovarian cancer due to the two diseases’ close proximity in origination?

Question #5: Which type of mesothelioma forms in the lining that surrounds the heart?

Question #6: Males account for a vast majority of cases for which type of mesothelioma?

Question #7: Which type of mesothelioma can involve removal of the lung during surgery?

Question #8: You can inhale or ingest asbestos fibers. However, the method of exposure could lead to a specific type of mesothelioma. Which type is most often associated with inhaling asbestos?

Question #9: Which form of mesothelioma is the rarest?

Question #10: Which type of mesothelioma has the best prognosis and life expectancy?

Question #11: There are different staging systems for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Which of these two involves a four-stage system?

Question #12: Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are often detected at different ages for patients. Which of these two has a median age at diagnosis of 71 (according to numerous studies)?

Question #13: There are many shared symptoms among the three types of mesothelioma. However, there are also distinguishing symptoms. Which type involves persistent coughing as a primary symptom?

Question #14: Bowel issues is a symptom that applies to which type of mesothelioma?

Question #15: An irregular heartbeat is a symptom of which form of mesothelioma?

pleurectomy with decortication

Answers to Mesothelioma Questions

Now that you’ve taken our quiz, let’s see how well you scored. The answer to each question is in bold.

Answer #1: Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of all cases. It’s the second-most-common form of the disease.

Answer #2: Radiation is used as a treatment option for pleural mesothelioma. While it could be used for peritoneal mesothelioma treatment, that use isn’t common.

Answer #3: Peritoneal mesothelioma is linked to HIPEC, which stands for “hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.” This treatment involves hot chemotherapy administered directly into the peritoneum and abdominal cavity, which is where peritoneal mesothelioma resides. Cytoreduction with HIPEC is an effective surgery-chemotherapy treatment combination for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Answer #4: Peritoneal mesothelioma is often linked to ovarian cancer. The peritoneum is the lining that surrounds the abdominal cavity, and the ovaries reside in a woman’s pelvic cavity just below the abdomen.

Answer #5: Pericardial mesothelioma forms in the lining that surrounds the heart, also called the pericardium.

Answer #6: According to numerous studies, males comprise a vast majority of pleural mesothelioma cases. By comparison, peritoneal mesothelioma cases are close to a 50-50 split between males and females.

Answer #7: The pleural mesothelioma surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy involves the removal of a lung.

Answer #8: According to multiple experts, inhaling asbestos most often leads to pleural mesothelioma.

Answer #9: Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest of the three main types. Even calling it a “main type” is generous. Pericardial mesothelioma accounts for approximately 1 percent of all cases.

Answer #10: Peritoneal mesothelioma has the best prognosis and life expectancy. According to studies, around 50 percent of patients survive for at least one year following their diagnosis, and cytoreduction with HIPEC increases the survival length significantly.

Answer #11: Pleural mesothelioma involves a four-stage system for diagnosing the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma, by comparison, often uses the peritoneal cancer index. This system involves doctors assigning each patient’s condition a number between 1 and 39.

Answer #12: Pleural mesothelioma has a median age at diagnosis of 71.

Answer #13: Persistent coughing is a symptom of pleural mesothelioma.

Answer #14: Bowel issues are a symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Answer #15: Heart murmurs are a symptom of pericardial mesothelioma.


Your Mesothelioma Quiz Results

So, how did you score? Count your correct answers and correlate that number to our assessment below.

If you correctly answered every question, you’re well beyond the basics of mesothelioma. You can even hold your own in a conversation with a doctor or specialist.

If you answered between 11 and 14 questions correctly, you’re adept at identifying characteristics for each of the three types of this disease.

If you correctly answered between seven and 10 of the questions, you can still research the topic a little more. Don’t worry, though. You have a good grasp of how each type of mesothelioma differs.

If you got less than six questions correct, you have more to learn. However, you’re likely new to the disease and trying to absorb tons of facts, statistics and scientific words that once looked like a foreign language to you. So it’s OK to not know everything about this disease.

The good news, though, is you’re on the right track simply by being on our website. It includes all the information you need about each type of mesothelioma, including life expectancy statistics and treatment options.

You can start by requesting our free Complete Mesothelioma Guide book and resource packet. And if you have any questions specific to your disease — maybe a question that you can’t find the answer to on our website or in our printed packet — we can still help. Our patient advocate team is a valuable resource for mesothelioma patients and their families. Email our registered nurse, Jenna Campagna, at for assistance.

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    Sources & Author

  1. Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: Epidemiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging. UpToDate. Retrieved from: Accessed: 03/19/19.
  2. Peritoneal mesothelioma: a review. Medscape General Medicine. Retrieved from: Accessed: 08/09/19.
  3. Life Expectancy in Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Lung Cancer International. Retrieved from: Accessed: 03/19/19.
  4. Recurrence of Pericardial Mesothelioma Affecting the Myocardium After Pericardial Resection. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Retrieved from: Accessed: 03/19/19.
  5. Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: a review. Translational Lung Cancer Research. Retrieved from: Accessed: 08/08/19.
  6. Determining the Peritoneal Cancer Index. Retrieved from: Accessed: 04/12/19.
  7. Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Multi-Institutional Experience. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Retrieved from: Accessed: 05/14/19.
  8. Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from: Accessed: 04/10/19.
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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.