Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs. In less common cases, the heart and abdomen can also be affected by mesothelioma cancer. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States, comprising around 3 percent of all cancer diagnoses. This cancer occurs about four times more frequently in men than in women and all forms of mesothelioma, except for benign mesothelioma, are terminal since no cure has been discovered.

The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is generally reported as less than one year following diagnosis. However, a patient’s prognosis is affected by several factors, including how early the cancer is diagnosed and how aggressively it is treated.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos and glass particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos or glass can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma.Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers. Those who have been exposed to asbestos often utilize attorneys to collect damages for asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).

In an effort to help patients understand mesothelioma, offers a complimentary packet that contains treatment information tailored to your specific diagnosis. The packet also covers the nation's top mesothelioma doctors and cancer centers, as well as financial assistance options to help cover medical costs. To receive your packet in the mail, please enter your information below.

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