What is Mesothelima ? (Symptoms and Causes )

By | February 26, 2021


Malignant mesothelima (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Generally Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure isn’t possible. like any other cancer issues.

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma care at Mayo Clinic

Mesothelima Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other forms of mesothelioma

Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these forms of the disease are very rare.

Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

When to see a doctor

See your primary care physician in the event that you have signs and indications that stress you. Signs and manifestations of mesothelioma aren’t explicit to this infection and, because of the uncommonness of mesothelioma, are bound to be identified with different conditions.

On the off chance that any tenacious signs and indications appear to be irregular or annoying, request that your PCP assess them. Tell your PCP in the event that you’ve been presented to asbestos.

Mesothelima Causes

In general, cancer begins when a series of changes (mutations) happens in a cell’s DNA. The DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply out of control. The abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor.

It isn’t clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It’s likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices.

Risk factors

Asbestos exposure: The primary risk factor for mesothelioma

Most mesotheliomas are believed to be identified with asbestos openness. Asbestos is a mineral that is discovered normally in the climate. Asbestos strands are solid and impervious to warm, making them helpful in a wide assortment of utilizations, for example, in protection, brakes, shingles, flooring and numerous different items.

At the point when asbestos is separated, for example, during the mining interaction or while eliminating asbestos protection, residue might be made. On the off chance that the residue is breathed in or gulped, the asbestos strands will get comfortable the lungs or in the stomach,

where they can cause bothering that may prompt mesothelioma. Precisely how this happens isn’t perceived. It can take 20 to 60 years or more for mesothelioma to create after asbestos openness.

Most people with asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

  • Personal history of asbestos exposure. If you’ve been directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of mesothelioma is greatly increased.
  • Living with someone who works with asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos may carry the fibers home on their skin and clothing. Exposure to these stray fibers over many years can put others in the home at risk of mesothelioma. People who work with high levels of asbestos can reduce the risk of bringing home asbestos fibers by showering and changing clothes before leaving work.
  • A family history of mesothelioma. If your parent, sibling or child has mesothelioma, you may have an increased risk of this disease.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest. If you had radiation therapy for cancer in your chest, you might have an increased risk of mesothelioma.


As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain caused by pressure on the nerves and spinal cord
  • Accumulation of fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), which can compress the lung nearby and make breathing difficult


Reducing your exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of mesothelioma.

Find out whether you work with asbestos

Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:

  • Asbestos miners
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Pipefitters
  • Insulators
  • Shipyard workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Brake mechanics
  • Selected military personnel
  • Home remodelers

Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.

Follow your employer’s safety regulations

Follow all security safety measures in your work environment, like wearing defensive gear. You may likewise be needed to shower and change out of your work garments prior to taking a mid-day break or returning home. Converse with your PCP about different safeguards you can take to shield yourself from asbestos openness.

Be safe around asbestos in your home

More established homes and structures may contain asbestos. By and large, it’s more perilous to eliminate the asbestos than it is to leave it unblemished. Separating asbestos may make strands become airborne, where they can be breathed in. Counsel specialists prepared to identify asbestos in your home.

These specialists may test the air in your home to decide if the asbestos is a danger to your wellbeing. Try not to endeavor to eliminate asbestos from your home — enlist a certified expert.By Mayo Center Staff

Mesothelioma care at Mayo Clinic

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