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Mesothelioma, or Malignant Mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Its most common site is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, but it may also occur in the lining of the abdominal cavity, the heart, and the sac that surrounds the heart.

Most people who develop Mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Smoking does not necessarily cause Mesothelioma but it greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.

The symptoms include shortness of breath, chest wall pain, and weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a tissue sample and microscopic examination. A tube with a camera inserted into the chest can be used to take biopsies. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis.
Tuesday, December 14 2010


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