Mesothelioma Health Center

Malignant mesothelioma is a form of cancer in which malignant cells are present in the pleura, the thin layer of tissue which lines the chest cavity covering the lungs. It also includes the peritoneum, or the thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen covering most of the organs in the abdomen.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include trouble breathing, pain under the rib cage, pain or swelling in the abdomen, lumps in the abdomen and weight loss for no clear reason. Sometimes, the cancer may cause fluid to collect around the lung or in the abdomen.

It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer and one included in a diagnosis may be unexpected. You will need proper medical testing by a health care professional in order to determine if you have mesothelioma and not a different condition or cancer. A chest x-ray, complete blood count, biopsy, bronchoscopy and thoractomy are a few testing procedures your doctor may utilize to test for the presence of mesothelioma.

Exposure to airborne asbestos particles increases one's risk of developing this form of cancer. If you have spent prolonged periods of time exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms, ask your doctor about testing for mesothelioma.

Review Date: 
August 13, 2012
Last Updated:
August 22, 2014