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Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells
lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. There are three
recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of
the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung
known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal
cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the
pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to
asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos
and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will
not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure
has occurred. Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms
should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma.
The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early
stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are
available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given. Additional mesothelioma
information and statistics can be found in this section.

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