Mesothelioma of the lung is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura). It is also called malignant pleural mesothelioma. Most people with this cancer have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos, a fiber that was used in insulation materials.
What puts you at risk for mesothelioma?
A risk factor for mesothelioma is something that increases your chance of getting this cancer. Most mesotheliomas are thought to be related to asbestos exposure, although exactly how this happens isn’t known. Most people with asbestos exposure do not develop mesothelioma. Factors that may increase your risk include:
- Asbestos exposure.
- A family history of mesothelioma.
- Radiation therapy to the chest.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, or pain or swelling in the abdomen.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
If mesothelioma is suspected, your doctor will perform an exam to check for lumps or other signs of mesothelioma. You may need tests such as a chest X-ray or a CT scan or other tests to be sure.
How is mesothelioma treated?
Treatment, which includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, is based on whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) and the stage of the cancer.