What is mesothelioma?

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Mesothelioma (a.k.a asbestos cancer) is a highly aggressive and rare form of cancer usually of the lining of the lung (pleural). Mesothelioma can also occur in the lining of the heart (pericardial) and abdominal cavity (peritoneal). The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Traditionally seen in older men, usually with a background of working in a factory, shipyard, mine or other environment with heavy asbestos exposure, today more and more cases of secondary exposure are being diagnosed. The average age for someone with mesothelioma used to be around 72, but each year it seems mesothelioma affects younger people. Recently, a 3-year-old girl was diagnosed with mesothelioma, stunning the physicians who were treating her.

Mesothelioma and Asbstos – What You Should Know

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