Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the Mesothelioma, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis.

Most people who develop Mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing Mesothelioma. Other people have been exposed to asbestos in a household environment, often without knowing it. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between Mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases risk of other asbestos-induced cancer. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in Mesothelioma.

An exposure of as little as one or two months can result in Mesothelioma 30 or 40 years later. People exposed in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s are now being diagnosed with Mesothelioma because of the long latency period of asbestos disease.

Like most cancers, the prognosis for this disease often depends on how early it is diagnosed and how aggressively it is treated. Click

For more information on this disease, you should consult a person or organization that does not have a monetary interest in your condition.

We suggest WebMD or the National Cancer Institute

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