Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. In most cases, this exposure took place decades before the cancer was diagnosed, when the patient was either serving in the military or working in an industrial or construction setting where asbestos was used due to its strength or insulating qualities. Mesothelioma can affect several areas of the body, but the most common form of the disease is malignant pleural mesothelioma.
What is the Pleura?
The Pleura is a layer of tissue that covers and protects the lungs. Part of the pleura is made up of the mesothelium, cells that produce a liquid that lubricates the tissue and allows the organs to slide against each other. Mesothelium cells are found in other parts of the body as well, including around the heart and in the abdomen.
Breathing in Asbestos Dust Leads to Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
If you ever worked with or around asbestos, there is a good chance that you breathed in asbestos dust or fibers: asbestos breaks down very easily into tiny particles that are easily inhaled. The fibers are pointy, and become embedded in the cells of the mesothelium, where they cause cell death and mutation of the surrounding areas. These mutations eventually grow into cancerous tumors.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you are interested in more information, we can help.