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Mesothelioma - malignant

  • Definition

    Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon cancerous tumor of the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) that is typically due to long-term asbestos exposure.


    Alternative Names

    Malignant mesothelioma


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Long-term exposure to asbestos -- a fire-resistant material -- is the biggest risk factor. Asbestos was once commonly found in insulation, ceiling and roofing vinyls, cement, and automotive brake materials. Although many asbestos workers smoked, experts do not believe smoking itself is a cause of this condition.

    Malignant mesothelioma affects men more often than women. The average age at diagnosis is 60.