What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and symptoms may not appear for as long as 20 to 40 years after exposure. Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the tissue made up of specialized cells called mesothelial cells which line the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the cavity around the heart. These cells also cover the outer surface of most internal organs.
The mesothelium produces a special lubricating fluid that allows organs to move around within the body with less friction. For example, this fluid makes it easier for the lungs to move inside the chest during breathing.
The mesothelium of the chest is known as the pleura. The mesothelium of the abdomen is called the peritoneum. The mesothelium of the pericardial cavity, which is the space around the heart, is called the pericardium.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks any of these mesothelial regions.
Common Questions Concerning Asbestos
What is the difference between mesothelioma and malignant mesothelioma?
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