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Mesothelioma Cancer


Mesothelioma is a rare, deadly cancer that is directly tied to asbestos. Workers who were exposed to high levels of asbestos and their families, who were often exposed to the disease by the fibers the workers carried home on their clothing, can develop this disease.

This cancer affects the tissue layer that surrounds many internal organs, including the lungs. In fact, pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of this cancer, but other forms also exist, including peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma, a condition that attacks the heart.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, face and arm swelling, trouble swallowing, and chest or back pain, among other ailments. Since these symptoms are also indicative of other conditions, diagnosis of the disease may not be made until the patient is already quite ill.

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may include pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation and swelling in the abdomen.


Mesothelioma Facts

  • Around 3,000 people are diagnosed annually with mesothelioma, and approximately 2,500 people die from the condition each year. In the 11-year period from 1999 to 2010, over 31,000 people in the United States died from this cancer.
  • Ninety percent of mesothelioma victims are over age 60.
  • According to statistics up to the year 2013, only 5 to 7 percent of sufferers live five years or more.
  • Most mesothelioma deaths occur in California, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
  • Men are five times more likely to develop the condition than women.
  • Many industrialized countries are expected to see their mesothelioma rates increase by 5 percent to 10 percent each year until 2020.
  • Currently, millions of workers are being exposed to asbestos and being put at risk of developing mesothelioma in the coming years. Worldwide, 125 million people are subjected to asbestos in the workplace.
  • S. military servicemen and women are exposed to asbestos as they serve due to its use in battleships, etc.
  • Asbestos fibers come in two different types: amphibole and serpentine. Due to its shape, the amphibole fiber can more easily lodge in tissue, making it more deadly.
  • Whites and Hispanics/Latinos suffer from a higher rate of mesothelioma than do African and Asian Americans.
  • Two to ten percent of those who were exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long period of time will develop pleural mesothelioma.
  • Seventy to ninety percent of mesothelioma cases are pleural mesothelioma.
  • Over half of those diagnosed with mesothelioma will be put in a clinical trial.

Learn more about Mesothelioma.

What is Mesothelioma?

Learn the facts.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

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Mesothelioma Diagnosis

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