Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs (pleura), or around the abdominal organs (peritoneum). There are also rare instances of malignant mesotheliomas in other areas of the body.
Malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the sac lining the chest, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the lining around the heart. Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon cancer that is difficult to diagnose and poorly responsive to therapy. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases.
Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the pleura or lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs. The only known cause of mesothelioma is previous exposure to asbestos fibers, including chrysotile, amosite or crocidolite. This exposure is likely to have happened twenty or more years before the mesothelioma becomes evident, since it takes many years for the disease to “incubate.” It is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75% of all cases.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma, or abdominal mesothelioma is found in the abdomen in a thin membrane called the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rapidly fatal primary peritoneal malignancy with an average survival time of less than 1 year, mainly because there is no effective treatment. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a tumor of this periotneal membrane. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, and weakness. The only known cause to this disease is exposure to asbestos. Periotneal mesothelioma take years to develop, and the exposure is likely to have taken place 20 or more years ago. This type of mesothelioma is the less common and is found in less than 25% of all mesothelioma cases. Like pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma can be either benign or malignant.