Monday, April 18, 2005


Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. It is usually associated with asbestos exposure. A person's social history can be a clue to asbestos exposure, such as shipyard workers. Patients present with chest pain and shortness of breath(1).
8% of people exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma, and 60-80% of people with malignant mesothelioma have had previous asbestos exposure. Physical signs include dullness to percussion and diminished breath sounds over the growth. Finger clubbing can also be present. These signs can be found in several other malignancies. Accurate diagnosis can be made using radiography, CT scans, and biopsies. Mesothelioma can cause the lining of the lungs to thicken, and it can also cause fluid to accumulate in this lining. It is a malignant tumor that can spread throughout the chest and even into the abdomen. Treatment with radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy is rarely successful. (2)

-Medical Student Report

(1)Harrison's Online
(2)Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2005