Mesothelioma has become news in recent years because of the many lawsuits
being lodged against construction companies and other businesses that did not
disclose their knowledge of the harmful effects asbestos had on their workers.
there is hope for mesothelioma patients, and there is a great deal of help
available. This ranges from clinical trials of new treatments to a variety of
legal options for victims of the disease.
Malignant mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium or protective membrane around
The mesothelium consists of two layers: the inner layer that actually
covers each organ, then the outer layer. In between is fluid, which is a bit
like the rubber you find between cement slabs in footpaths. It lubricates the
walls of each layer and also acts as a buffer, protecting your organs while
allowing them to expand and move.
Mesothelioma can affect the pericardium (the layer that protects the
heart), although this is relatively rare.
This is called pericardial mesothelioma.
More common is the form that affects the peritoneum (abdominal cavity),
and this usually spreads to the intestines and diaphragm.
This is called peritoneal mesothelioma.
However, the most common form of mesothelioma affects the pleura - the
chest cavity, and these usually progress to the thorax and then the lung. Oddly,
it's more often the right lung that's affected.
This is called pleural mesothelioma.