Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that starts in the cells that form the mesothelium. This is the lining that protects the internal organs such as the lungs, stomach, and heart.
The most common type of mesothelioma starts in the lining of the lungs and is called a pleural mesothelioma. Pericardial mesotheliomas begin in the sac around the heart. Most of the remaining mesotheliomas are called peritoneal mesotheliomas and begin in the abdominal cavity.
To help make the diagnosis, your doctor will look for fluid in your chest, abdomen, or heart. This fluid can be a sign of mesothelioma.
Your treatment choices depend on your age, your overall health, and the stage of the cancer. The goal of treatment is to control the cancer for as long as possible and to keep you comfortable.
Side effects during cancer treatment vary from person to person. When side effects occur, they can interfere with your day-to-day life. Your health care team will work to ease any side effects you have.
Learn more about malignant mesothelioma from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.