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Updated on March 27, 2011

Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer wherein cancerous cells are stored in the mesothelium, which is a covering that protects most of the body's internal organs.

About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Men tend to be diagnosed with the disease more often than women.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Exposure to asbestos—especially in the workplace—as occurred in up to 80% of cases of mesothelioma.

Asbestos is found in a wide variety of industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles and insulation. It has been widely used in the building trades for many years and is still found in many older homes and commercial buildings.

Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms of mesothelioma can appear many years after exposure to asbestos has occurred. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the mesothelioma and can include shortnus of breath, chest pain, weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling, bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, fever, generalized pain, trouble swallowing and swelling of the tissues of the face and neck.

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are commonly used—either separately or in combination—to treat mesothelioma.

Winning the Fight Against Mesothelioma

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, research your options. Get multiple opinions before agreeing to risk and/or invasive treatments, explore unconventional and alternative therapies, and don't overlook caring for your general wellness. Eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, exercise in moderation, reduce stressors and perform relaxation rituals on a daily basis.

Seek legal advice. If your diagnosis is the direct result of the negligence of an employer, landlord, manufacturer or other entity, you may be entitled to assistance with medical expenses and other compensation. Know your rights.

People who've been diagnosed with mesothelioma have a difficult road ahead of them, but it is far from the end of the road. I encourage you to remain positive and hopeful and to nurture your spirituality. Don't give in to the temptation to give up. You cannot afford to allow mesothelioma rob you and your loved ones of the many good years that lie ahead.


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      Jacob Ellison 6 years ago

      Thanks for your exciting article. Other thing is that mesothelioma cancer is generally caused by the inhalation of material from mesothelioma, which is a cancer causing material. It truly is commonly observed among employees in the construction industry that have long experience of asbestos. It can also be caused by living in asbestos protected buildings for some time of time, Your age plays a crucial role, and some people are more vulnerable towards the risk compared to others.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      I read that even hair dryers used this as an insulator. Good article, I learned more about this disease.