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Mesothelioma is a malignant disease that grows on the sac lining of internal body cavities, known as the mesothelium. The mesothelium is composed of two membranesÃ¢â‚¬”one that protects most internal organs of the body, and the other which forms a sac around that layer.
There are different types of mesothelioma, which are named for the tissue where the tumors originated. Pleural mesothelioma appears in the chestÃ¢â‚¬”in the pleura (outer lining) that surrounds the lungs and lining of the chest cavity. Peritonal mesothelioma starts in the lining of most organs in the abdominal cavity.
Mesothelioma, which is cancer of the mesothelium, is a malignant disease causing cells of the mesothelium to become abnormal and uncontrollably divide. As with other types of cancers, these malignant cells may cause damage to nearby tissues and organs. These cells may also metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.
These mesothelioma facts may help you to gain further understanding of the disease:
1. Working with asbestos is a risk factor for mesothelioma. Once widely used in industrial products including roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation, asbestos exposure is an unfortunate circumstance of many job conditions if it is inhaled.
2. According to the National Cancer Institute, mesothelioma is relatively rare, with 2,000 cases diagnosed in the United States.
3. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry cough, fever, abdominal swelling, and pain under the rib cage. These may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.