Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma.
Making a correct mesothelioma diagnosis is particularly difficult for doctors because the disease often presents with symptoms that mimic other common ailments. There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can help to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis and even increase one's life expectancy.
Three major types of mesothelioma exist and they are differentiated by the organs primarily affected. Pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity) represents about three-quarters of all mesothelioma incidence. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdominal cavity, and pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the cardiac cavity, comprise the remainder.