Take a “Moment for Meso”

Did you know…every year, close to 3000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma and are given an average of 10 months to live.

Take a “moment for meso” to learn more about this disease.

What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs. There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural occurs in the lungs and accounts for 70% of cases, peritoneal occurs in the abdominal cavity, and pericardial occurs in the lining of the heart.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma? About 60% of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma experience lower back or side chest pain. Others report shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, fever, weight loss, or fatigue. Some patients may experience muscle weakness, loss of sensory capability, coughing up blood, arm swelling, and hoarseness. It’s important to note that the symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30-60 years after the patient’s initial exposure to the disease-causing agent. Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose due to symptoms that closely resemble other respiratory conditions.

What causes mesothelioma? Asbestos exposure is the primary risk factor for the development of mesothelioma. Occupational asbestos exposure is the most common cause of the cancer, however, much like secondhand smoke, indirect exposure from an asbestos worker’s soiled clothing can affect friends and family members indirectly. Anyone previously exposed to asbestos displaying any of the above symptoms should seek medical attention from the doctor. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe. Possibly due to their work environments, men and veterans are at greatest risk of mesothelioma.

For more information on mesothelioma, asbestos exposure, and prevention and treatment of the disease, visit www.mesothelioma.com.