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Is mesothelioma a rare form of lung cancer?

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare, and also an aggressive and deadly form of cancer.

Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that lines the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma and it's the most common.

Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.


Doctors usually divide mesothelioma into three types:

  • Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma and it affects the pleura- the lining surrounding the lungs.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form when cancer attacks the lining of the abdomen- the peritoneum.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form when cancer attacks the pericardium - the protective layer covering the heart.

Causes of Mesothelioma

Experts consider that prolonged exposure to asbestos particles is the main cause of mesothelioma. The risk of developing the disease is closely linked to asbestos particle dosage - i.e. the likelihood of developing mesothelioma is directly proportional to the period a person was exposed, and how much they inhaled.

Asbestos was commonly used for insulation, soundproofing, fireproofing, roofing, and ironing board covers. People in jobs where exposure to asbestos fibers are commonly used have the highest risk of developing the disease.

Cure and Treatments

Mesothelioma treatments are available in medical and alternative forms, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible yet. As the disease progresses, doctors usually try to improve the patients' quality of life making them as comfortable as possible.

In the very rare cases, where mesothelioma originates from benign, non-malignant cells- the so-called benign mesothelioma, doctors can cure it surgically.

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