Mesothelioma Cancer: Understanding the Risks and Treatment Options

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on mesothelioma cancer, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. In this article, we will explore the risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for mesothelioma cancer. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of this disease so that you can make informed decisions about your health.

What is Mesothelioma Cancer?

Mesothelioma cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers the internal organs of the body, known as the mesothelium. This cancer is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, a mineral fiber that was commonly used in the construction, shipbuilding, and automotive industries before its health risks were discovered. Mesothelioma cancer is a rare disease, affecting approximately 3,000 people each year in the United States.

The Risk Factors of Mesothelioma Cancer

The primary risk factor for mesothelioma cancer is exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lining of the lungs or abdomen, where they can cause inflammation and scarring. Over time, this can lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer. Other risk factors include:

Risk Factors Description
Gender Men are more likely than women to develop mesothelioma cancer.
Age Mesothelioma cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65.
Occupation People who work in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and automotive repair may be at higher risk of exposure to asbestos.
Smoking Smoking does not directly cause mesothelioma cancer, but it can increase the risk of developing other types of cancer, which can make it harder to detect mesothelioma.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer

The symptoms of mesothelioma cancer can vary depending on the location of the tumor. The most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

How is Mesothelioma Cancer Diagnosed?

Diagnosing mesothelioma cancer can be challenging because the symptoms mimic those of other diseases. Your doctor may use several methods to diagnose mesothelioma, including:

  • Imaging tests (such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs)
  • Biopsies (where a small tissue sample is taken from the affected area)
  • Blood tests (to check for abnormal levels of certain substances that may indicate cancer)

Treatment Options for Mesothelioma Cancer

The treatment options for mesothelioma cancer depend on the stage of the cancer and the location of the tumor. Common treatments include:

  • Surgery (to remove the cancerous tissue)
  • Radiation therapy (to shrink the tumor or kill cancer cells)
  • Chemotherapy (to kill cancer cells or slow their growth)
  • Immunotherapy (to help the immune system fight cancer cells)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is mesothelioma cancer curable?

Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma cancer. However, early detection and treatment can improve the chances of survival and prolong life.

2. How long does it take for mesothelioma cancer to develop?

The latency period for mesothelioma cancer can be decades (20-50 years) after exposure to asbestos.

3. How is mesothelioma cancer different from lung cancer?

Mesothelioma cancer develops in the lining of the lungs, while lung cancer develops in the lung tissue itself.

4. Can I get mesothelioma cancer from secondhand exposure to asbestos?

Yes, it is possible to get mesothelioma cancer from secondhand exposure to asbestos if you come into contact with someone who has been exposed to asbestos fibers.

5. What are the survival rates for mesothelioma cancer?

The survival rates for mesothelioma cancer vary depending on the stage of the cancer and the person’s overall health. The average survival rate for mesothelioma cancer is 12-21 months.

6. What should I do if I think I have been exposed to asbestos?

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, you should speak to your doctor and get regular check-ups to monitor your health.

7. Can I file a lawsuit if I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer?

Yes, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company or manufacturer responsible for your exposure.

8. How can I reduce my risk of developing mesothelioma cancer?

You can reduce your risk of developing mesothelioma cancer by avoiding exposure to asbestos and quitting smoking.

9. Is mesothelioma cancer hereditary?

There is no evidence to suggest that mesothelioma cancer is hereditary.

10. What is the average age of diagnosis for mesothelioma cancer?

The average age of diagnosis for mesothelioma cancer is 70 years old.

11. Can mesothelioma cancer be detected early?

It can be difficult to detect mesothelioma cancer early because the symptoms often mimic those of other, less serious diseases. Regular check-ups with your doctor can help identify any early signs of mesothelioma.

12. How is mesothelioma cancer staged?

Mesothelioma cancer is staged based on the size of the tumor and how far it has spread to other areas of the body.

13. What are the long-term effects of mesothelioma cancer?

The long-term effects of mesothelioma cancer can include chronic pain, difficulty breathing, and decreased quality of life.


Mesothelioma cancer is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. While there is no cure for this disease, early detection and treatment can help prolong life and improve the quality of life for those affected. If you are concerned about your risk of mesothelioma cancer or are experiencing symptoms, speak to your doctor and get regular check-ups to monitor your health. Remember, prevention is the best defense against this deadly disease.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on mesothelioma cancer. We hope that you found this information helpful and informative. If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about this disease, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your health care routine.