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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Malignant mesothelioma


Other Names for this Disease
  • Mesothelioma, malignant
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Overview

Malignant mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs, chest wall, or abdomen. Signs and symptoms of the condition can vary and often depend on which area of the body is affected. Common features include abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, chest pain, coughing, fatigue, shortness of breath, and/or weight loss. Malignant mesothelioma is thought to be caused by long-term exposure to asbestos (a fire-resistant material that was once commonly found in insulation; ceiling and roof vinyls; cement; and automotive brake materials). Most people appear to be diagnosed with the condition approximately 30 years after being in contact with the asbestos. Unfortunately, there is generally no cure for malignant mesothelioma unless it is diagnosed at an early stage and can be surgically removed. If surgery is not an option, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may still be recommended to help alleviate some of the associated symptoms.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 11/12/2015

References

  1. Mesothelioma - malignant. MedlinePlus. May 2014; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000115.htm.
  2. Malignant Mesothelioma–for patients. National Cancer Institute. September 2015; http://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma.
  3. Winston W Tan, MD, FACP. Mesothelioma. Medscape Reference. April 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/280367-overview.
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Basic Information

  • The American Cancer Society provides information on Malignant mesothelioma. Please click on the link to access this resource.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Malignant mesothelioma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Mesothelioma, malignant
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.