Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that usually develops in the thin membrane that separates the lung from the chest wall, known as the pleura. It is divided into different types depending on the part of the mesothelium affected, with pleural mesothelioma being the most common. This type of cancer forms in the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and fluid in the lungs.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma accounts for 75% of all mesothelioma cases.Mesothelioma can also spread to areas around the lungs, on the side of the body where the original tumor was found. To determine how far it has progressed, doctors use a staging system. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by surgical removal and microscopic examination (biopsy) of the affected tissue. Approximately 3,000 new mesothelioma patients are diagnosed each year in the United States.Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers most internal organs (mesothelium).
It can be caused by exposure to asbestos, radiation, certain chemicals or viruses. Symptoms and conditions such as pleural plaques, pleural effusions, and pleural thickening may indicate a person's history of exposure to asbestos and a possible diagnosis of mesothelioma.The process of diagnosing pleural mesothelioma begins when a doctor evaluates initial symptoms. A radiologist may perform a needle biopsy using an ultrasound or CT scan to guide needle placement. Following your doctor's advice and taking steps to lead a healthy lifestyle can help improve your prognosis and extend life expectancy.Asbestos is the main risk factor for developing mesothelioma, but it does not represent everyone affected.
Mesothelioma can also grow and spread through angiogenesis, a process in which new blood vessels form in the body. In approximately 85% of patients, mesothelioma arises in the membranes surrounding the lungs (malignant pleural mesothelioma).