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Malignant pleural mesothelioma, commonly referred to as mesothelioma, is cancer affecting the pleura, a double-layer sac that covers each lobe of the lung and lines the chest wall, diaphragm, and mediastinum. The space between two pleura layers is called the pleural space.
There are approximately 2,000 - 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma that are diagnosed each year in the United States. Up to 80% of cases of mesothelioma are associated with asbestos exposure. The remaining cases can be related to family contact as well as non-asbestos type causes. People most often diagnosed with mesothelioma are in their 50s to 70s, and males are affected more often than females. This type of cancer can take 20-40 years to develop.
- Breathing difficulties
- A long lasting cough
- Pain under the rib cage
- Pain during breathing
- Weight loss and fatigue