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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to CancerCancer Arrow to Mesothelioma Mesothelioma

The pleura, or lining around the
lungs, is where mesothelioma
disease is often identified.


Mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer is an aggressive disease clearly linked to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos' heat resistant strength was once highly prized by industry, and used to insulate everything from steam pipes to brake pad linings. Even after asbestos dangers became well-documented in the mid-20th century, asbestos installation continued unabated until the late 1970's.

Today, the material is governed by strict industry regulation, although too late for many asbestos workers (and their families) who may now suffer the unfortunate consequences.

For workers in constant contact with the toxic material over a period of years, symptoms typically occur 20-40 years after initial exposure. Today, there are an estimated 2,000 - 3,000 new mesothelioma cases reported annually in the U.S alone, with an equal number of estimated cases reported in the UK.

Types of mesothelioma

also see in Health:
household asbestos dangers
A Homeowner's Field Guide
To Asbestos Dangers


Most patients suffer from pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining around the lungs. Symptoms of this type usually begin with shortness of breath and tightening of the throat and from there progresses to chronic cough, sudden weight loss, and general fatigue.

Other rarer forms of the disease include pericardial mesothelioma in which the disease acts upon the lining of the heart, with symptoms including irregular heartbeat or palpitations, and difficulty breathing.

Peritoneal mesothelioma results in damage to the lining around the abdomen, and usually presents with signs of stomach pain, swelling of the abdomen, nausea, and/or sudden weight loss.

Prognosis and treatment

Like lung cancer, mesothelioma is a "silent disease" as chronic symptoms do not arise until the disease is fairly well-advanced. At that point, aggressive treatment with surgery, and/or chemotherapy is often not curative, but may prolong life expectancy as well as ease the pain and discomfort associated with mesothelioma.

Learn more about the disease with tips and advice on what to do next, where to seek help, along with important information on treatment, and related tips on reducing your risk of exposure in your home or on the job...

also see -> Occupational Health

More information about mesothelioma around the Web:

MedlinePlus - Mesothelioma - Browse a complete list of top medical and research pages featuring current news & research, risk factors, FAQs, statistics, causes, treatment & diagnosis.

Clinical Trials: Mesothelioma - Information on all clinical trials now being tested against the disease in the U.S. and internationally with information on eligibility, contact details, and maps to trial center locations, from CenterWatch.

Malignant Mesothelioma - Check out a comprehensive guide from the National Cancer Institute with general information and advice on the disease including diagnosis, risk factors, FAQ, and where to get more information on the latest clinical trials. - This site is sponsored by a New York law firm, but offers solid fact sheets describing causes, asbestos dangers and related risk factors, common symptoms, disease types & stages, treatment options, browseable directory of specialists in the U.S., and links to additional resources and information.

Mesothelioma - Cancer Information - UK support group and information source with extensive facts and tips on its causes, symptoms, treatment, with related resources.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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