TYPES OF MESOTHELIOMA

Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue that lines the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, the abdomen, and the heart.

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Pleural

Pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, the tissue lining the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75% of all cases.

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Peritoneal

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. It is the second most common mesothelioma diagnosis.

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Pericardial

Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the pericardium, the lining of the heart. It is a rare form of mesothelioma, representing about one percent of all cases.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the mesothelial tissue that lines the lungs, the heart, the stomach, and very rarely, the testicles. The cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was used for decades in thousands of products due to its strength, durability, and heat resistance. Asbestos companies concealed the fact that their products could cause mesothelioma and other health problems, resulting in millions of people being needlessly exposed to this deadly substance.

Mesothelioma can take decades to develop following asbestos exposure, making diagnosis difficult. Diagnosis is also complicated by early symptoms such as shortness of breath and abdominal pain that can mimic other, less serious ailments. Patients who are experiencing mesothelioma symptoms and are aware of their asbestos exposure should mention this to their doctor to improve the chances of early diagnosis, which usually gives patients a better long-term prognosis. Significant strides in mesothelioma treatment have been made in recent years.

VETERANS ASSISTANCE

Millions of people who served in the military were exposed to asbestos. About 1/3 of all mesothelioma deaths involve veterans. Find out how veterans can get help with mesothelioma.

OCCUPATIONAL ASBESTOS EXPOSURE

Tens of millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos. Occupational asbestos exposure is recognized to be particularly high in certain lines of work. People who worked in these occupations may be at higher risk for developing mesothelioma.

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Shipbuilding

Up until the 1980s, shipbuilders and ship repairers used asbestos for many applications due to its durability, fire-resistance, heat-resistance, and relative abundance. This exposed thousands of workers to this cancer-inducing fiber.

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Construction

Construction workers are one of the most at-risk groups for asbestos exposure. Asbestos in older buildings continues to expose workers.

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Power Plants

Asbestos was used heavily in power plants due to its excellent heat insulation. Many types of power plant workers were exposed to asbestos.

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Firefighting

Firefighters who enter burning buildings can be exposed to airborne asbestos. The collapse of the World Trade Center was a massive exposure event for firefighters.

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Industrial Workers

Mechanics, laborers, welders, and other workers employed in industrial facilities such as factories and plants faced numerous asbestos exposure hazards.

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Automotive Mechanics

Brakes, clutches, and other auto parts made with asbestos placed mechanics at risk for exposure. Some automotive parts are still made with asbestos.