What is Mesothelioma?
A rare and aggressive malignancy, mesothelioma is cancer affecting the lining that surrounds various organs and cavities within the body. Mesothelioma gets its name from this lining, which is called the mesothelium.
This lining exists in several places in the body, but tumors are most commonly found in the pleura (the mesothelial lining of the lungs and chest) and the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for most cases of mesothelioma, about two thirds of all diagnosed cases. Abdominal or peritoneal mesothelioma makes up most of the remaining third (pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the heart, is an exceedingly rare variation).
Perhaps the most striking about mesothelioma, which kills more than 3000 people each year, is that is considered almost wholly preventable. Mesothelioma is almost always directly linked to asbestos exposure. Because of this, mesothelioma is often referred to as "asbestos cancer," however, mesothelioma is not the only cancer caused by asbestos. Lung cancer is also caused by asbestos exposure.
What is Malignant Mesothelioma?
Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Virtually all cases of malignant mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos exposure.
More on Mesothelioma:
- Find out more about malignant mesothelioma, and the various types (pleural and peritoneal) of mesothelioma.
- Learn about the symptoms of mesothelioma. Be sure to let your physician know about any prior asbestos exposure, as the symptoms are not unique.
- Diagnosing mesothelioma can be very difficult, and cases of mesothelioma misdiagnosed are not uncommon.
- Although serious, there is hope in a variety of treatment options for mesothelioma. Many new and novel treatments are currently being tested in mesothelioma clinical trials.
While "meso" (as it is sometimes called) is one of the most aggressive cancers, strides are constantly being made in combating this deadly disease. We encourage you to bookmark this site and return for the latest news and resources important to those suffering from mesothelioma and their families.