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What is Mesothelioma?

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What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks cells in the surfaces of the body’s internal organs. These cells, called mesothelial cells, form a lining for the organs that is called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a disease that’s very closely linked with asbestos exposure.

In the U.S., at least a few thousand people each year are diagnosed by a doctor with mesothelioma. More men than women get it, and it’s diagnosed more often in older adults—though mesothelioma can occur at any age. More people have been being diagnosed with mesothelioma in the past 20 years due to earlier decades of unchecked use of asbestos.

What is asbestosis?

What is asbestosis? Asbestosis is the name given to a disease that involves difficulty breathing and where the patient is known to have had exposure to asbestos fibers. Lungs can become scarred from enough of these fibers, and a person would have a hard time breathing. Asbestosis is most likely to develop among people who were exposed to asbestos for a long time. Symptoms usually don't show up until some years after a person's been exposed. But once it’s diagnosed, the condition can become disabling, and death is likely if the person continues to be exposed.

Asbestosis has been occurring mostly in people who worked at jobs where they were exposed to asbestos. In the 1970s the federal government began controlling how asbestos and asbestos products were used, and now there are strict regulations. Since the 1940s, up to 10 million people risked being exposed to asbestos.

What is peritoneal mesothelioma?

What is peritoneal mesothelioma? Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. The peritoneum helps protect our organs in the abdominal area and also produces a lubricating fluid to help them move smoothly inside as we move around. This type is much rarer than pleural mesothelioma.

When you seek medical attention for sharp, continuing upper abdominal pain, and if you believe you've suffered asbestos exposure at some time in your life, the first thing to do is ask your medical providers, do you know the answer to the question, "What is mesothelioma?" If they are not familiar with the disease, you will likely have a hard time getting a correct mesothelioma diagnosis.

What is Pleurisy?

What is pleurisy? Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura -- a two-ply membrane that both encloses the lung and lines the chest cavity. When this membrane becomes red and swollen, the two layers can become separated, creating a space. This space can remain empty (dry pleurisy), or it can fill up with fluid (wet pleurisy).

Symptoms of pleurisy include: sharp pain with each breath you take; extreme pain when you cough or sneeze; shallow, difficult breathing; and dry coughing, among others.

For more information with regards to this question, "What is pleurisy?" please see, Pleurisy: Mesothelioma Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment. However, if you think you may have pleurisy, see your doctor immediately.