Mesothelioma is a very rare form of lung cancer caused from exposure to asbestos. For many people there is no cure. Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural malignant mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles
During the better part of the 20th century, the United States Armed Forces used asbestos in the production of many types of ships, buildings and vehicles, thus exposing countless soldiers and workers to this terrible mineral. At its peak, asbestos was used predominantly in factories during World War II and many U.S. veterans suffered from mesothelioma as a result, because the harmful effects of asbestos were not known until decades later. Even now, as asbestos use and production has declined significantly, many veterans could still be afflicted, unaware of the early symptoms of mesothelioma cancer
The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma is rarely favorable, which is why early diagnosis is so incredibly important. Yet as mentioned above, there are great strides being taken in the medical and scientific communities to ensure that life expectancy and survival rates continue to climb for patients as researchers continue to find a cure.