Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the bulk of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly type of cancer. mesothelioma treatments are available, except for many people with mesothelioma, a cure isn’t possible.

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types supported what part of the mesothelium is affected. mesothelioma most frequently affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). this sort is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer varieties of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma does not embrace a type of noncancerous (benign) tumor that happens in the chest and is usually called benign mesothelioma or solitary fibrous tumor.


Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that will include:

  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue underneath the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which happens in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that will include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other types of mesothelioma

Signs and symptoms of different types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these sorts of the disease are very rare.

Pericardial mesothelioma, that affects tissue that surrounds the heart, will cause signs and symptoms such as respiration issue and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

When to check a doctor

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that will indicate mesothelioma. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are not specific to the current disease and, because of the rarity of mesothelioma, are additional likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to judge them. Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos.


In general, cancer begins when a series of genetic mutations occur within a cell, causing the cell to grow and multiply out of control. it is not clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that will increase the danger. It’s likely that cancers type because of an interaction between several factors, such as inherited conditions, your surroundings, your health conditions and your lifestyle decisions.

Risk factors

Asbestos exposure: the first risk issue for mesothelioma

Asbestos is a mineral that is found naturally in the surroundings. asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, creating them helpful during a wide selection of applications, like in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and lots of different products.

When asbestos is broken up, like during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust is also created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they will cause irritation that will lead to mesothelioma. exactly how this happens is not understood. It can take twenty to forty years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.

Most people with years of asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. And yet, others with very brief exposure develop the disease. this indicates that other factors are also concerned in determining whether somebody gets mesothelioma or does not. for instance, you {could|you’ll|you may} inherit a predisposition to cancer or another condition could increase your risk.

Risk factors

Factors that will increase the danger of mesothelioma include:

Personal history of asbestos exposure. If you have been directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of mesothelioma is greatly increased.

Living with somebody who works with asbestos. people that are exposed to asbestos might carry the fibers home on their skin and clothing. Exposure to those stray fibers over many years can place others in the home in danger of mesothelioma. people who work with high levels of asbestos can reduce the danger of bringing home asbestos fibers by showering and changing clothes before leaving work.

A family history of mesothelioma. If your parent, sibling or kid has mesothelioma, you’ll have an increased risk of this disease.


As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. this can cause complications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain caused by pressure on the nerves and spinal cord
  • Accumulation of fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), which might compress the lung nearby and build breathing difficult


Reducing your exposure to asbestos could lower your risk of mesothelioma.

Find out whether you’re employed with asbestos

Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. employees who could encounter asbestos fibers include:

  • Miners
  • Factory employees
  • Insulation manufacturers
  • Ship builders
  • Construction workers
  • Auto mechanics

Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.

Follow your employer’s safety rules

Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, like wearing protecting equipment. you’ll even be needed to shower and alter out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home. discuss with your doctor about different precautions you can want protect yourself from asbestos exposure.

Be safe around asbestos in your home

Older homes and buildings could contain asbestos. In several cases, it’s more dangerous to remove the asbestos that it is to leave it intact. breaking up asbestos might cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult specialists trained to observe asbestos in your home. These specialists may check the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. don’t attempt to remove asbestos from your home — hire a qualified professional. The Environmental Protection Agency offers recommendation on its website for dealing with asbestos in the home.