Disease Information for Mesothelioma, pleura: Definition

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  • Mesothelioma ; Malignant Mesothelioma; Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the membrane that covers and protects various internal organs of the body (mesothelium); The mesothelium is composed of two layers of specialized cells known as mesothelial cells; One layer directly surrounds an organ; the other forms a protective sac around the organ; The most common form of mesothelioma affects the membrane or sac that lines the lungs (pleura); Other common sites include the membrane lining the stomach (peritoneum) and the membrane lining the heart (pericardium); mesothelioma, may be classified based upon the cell type involved, the specific nature of the malignancy, the tissues or organs affected, and the disease"s clinical course; Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending upon the location, type and stage of the cancer; Approximately 70 to 80 percent of cases of mesothelioma result from exposure to asbestos; Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until up to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos; However, after symptoms began apparent, mesothelioma may rapidly progress to cause life-threatening complications--------[NORD]--------------------

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