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Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is the cancer of the heart lining or chest lining.  The pleura is the membrane that surrounds the abdomen cavity around the lungs. 

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma range from shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and pleural effusion.  Pleural effusion is the accumulation of fluid between the chest linings.  The syptoms can become quite serous over time as the pleural effusion will exert great force on surrounding organs and lead to great pain. 

Pleural mesothelioma is the most commong form of mesothelioma accounting for over 80% of all cases.  Every year there are a few thousand cases newly diagnosed in the United States.  The survival rate is extremely low and the survival time is often less than 1 year from time of diagnosis.  If this disease is diagnosed early, it is possible to treat it with radiation or chemotherapy.  Surgery is not very commonly used to treat this disease.  Most patients are diagnosed too late.  But some fortunate patients accidentally discover this disease when having an x-ray or cat scans for another reason.  The actual diagnosis of this disease will require a biopsy. 

This disease is caused by direct or indirect exposure to asbestos approximately 20 to 40 years in the past.  Pleural mesothelioma is different from lung cancer in that is does not directly target the lungs but rather the linings near the lung.

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