Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure that affects the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. While mesothelioma can appear in men or women of any age, it occurs more often in men than in women, and risk increases with age. In the United States, between 2,000 and 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed each year.

Generally, mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. As a result, mesothelioma is almost always fatal. Unfortunately, survival rate statistics estimate that 75% of mesothelioma patients die within one year after diagnosis. Three years after diagnosis, the mesothelioma survival rate is estimated to be only 10%.

While mesothelioma survival rate statistics are grim, they are generally unreliable. To begin with, mesothelioma is rare, and as a result, very little data about the disease is available. In addition, various factors contribute to each mesothelioma patient’s life expectancy, including the stage of mesothelioma, mesothelioma type, and patient’s overall health.

Major Types of Mesothelioma

There are three major mesothelioma types and each is named after the part of the mesothelium it affects. First, mesothelioma that occurs in the tissue that surrounds the lung (pleura) is called pleural mesothelioma. Second, mesothelioma that occurs in the abdominal tissue (peritoneum) is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Finally, the rarest mesothelioma is that which occurs in the lining around the heart (pericardium). This is called pericardial mesothelioma. 

Besides the three major mesothelioma types, other, less common, types of mesothelioma exist. In addition, some individual types of mesothelioma have several names. To learn more about a particular mesothelioma type, simply click on the appropriate link below:

Mesothelioma Treatment

While there is no cure for mesothelioma, many treatment options exist. Mesothelioma treatments may be aimed at aggressively fighting the disease or may be used to simply relieve symptoms. Each individual patient plays a large role in determining the appropriate treatment program for themselves. There are also a variety of treatment centers througout the United States.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another cancer linked to asbestos exposure, our experienced attorneys can answer your legal questions.

Published November 17, 2011 by