What is Mesothelioma?

This section of the website provides a detailed overview of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. The information found on this page has been gathered from leading mesothelioma authorities such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

  • Types of Mesothelioma:  When mesothelioma is present in the chest cavity, it is called pleural mesothelioma. Another type of mesothelioma is called peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in the abdomen. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the cells in the lining of the heart.
  • Mesothelioma Symptoms:  Symptoms of mesothelioma typically do not appear until many years after asbestos exposure. The nature of the symptoms are generally dictated by where in the body the cancer is located.
  • Causes of Mesothelioma:  The American Cancer Society lists exposure to asbestos as the main risk factor for developing mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure at work is reported in 70 to 80% of all mesothelioma cases.
  • Mesothelioma Treatments:  Treatments for mesothelioma vary and depend on the location of the cancer, how advanced the cancer is, and the patient’s overall health and age. Typical treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Basic Mesothelioma Facts and Figures

When viewed collectively, the facts about mesothelioma are startling. Consider the following truths about this devastating illness:

  • An estimated 2,000 to 3,200 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

  • Most people who get mesothelioma have worked in professions where they dealt with asbestos exposure at some point in their lives.

  • Mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years to develop after the initial asbestos exposure.

  • The average survival time for a mesothelioma patient is one year.

  • The Environmental Workers Group (EWG) estimates that between 1979 and 2001, at least 43,000 Americans died

    from mesothelioma and an often-fatal non-cancer disease of the lungs called asbestosis.

  • The truth about asbestos exposure has been known and mostly hidden from the American public since the early 20th Cent


  • The use of asbestos has still not been banned in the U.S.

Living with the day-to-day hardships of mesothelioma is emotionally and financially difficult for both a patient and their family. If a company or former employer may be responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to the illness, contacting a mesothelioma attorney may help a victim pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit in the hopes of receiving a settlement.