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Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in the lung, abdominal area or in the pericardium. The pericardium is the sac that surrounds the heart. Mesothelioma is most often caused by an exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma exposure occurs when an individual inhales particles or has direct contact with asbestos. Typically the cancer begins twenty to fifty years after the exposure.
There are two main types of Mesothelioma and each type produces different symptoms. Pleural Mesothelioma occurs in the lungs and in the chest cavity creating symptoms of shortness of breath, a severe cough and chest pain. This type of mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer and occurs 70% of the time. Peritoneal Mesothelioma occurs in the pericardium and creates symptoms of weight loss and abdominal pain.
Mesothelioma statistics show that people who worked in industrial factory settings or who were in the Navy and worked in the shipyards have a higher rate of mesothelioma exposure. This is because they worked with asbestos in large amounts. These individuals should be aware of the symptoms and consult with their doctor for routine care and monitoring of symptoms.