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Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

What is Mesothelioma?


Listen to audio about the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium.

There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred. Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given.

Additional mesothelioma information and statistics can be found in this section. Read stories of hope from mesothelioma surviviors as well.

Resources Available for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Treatment

Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life. Newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients often have many questions for their doctors about the treatment options that would be most effective for them. Conventional treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Recently, chemotherapy drugs including Alimta® and Cisplatin have showed promising results in some patients.

Mesothelioma clinical trials as well as experimental treatments are other options that certain mesothelioma patients may be eligible to participate in. Our site features a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer treatment section that includes important information for patients and families. We've included resources on top mesothelioma experts such as Dr. David Sugarbaker and Dr. Raphael Bueno, as well as a comprehensive list of cancer centers where mesothelioma treatment takes place. Beyond the conventional treatments for mesothelioma, certain alternative therapies may provide assistance to mesothelioma patients. Financial assistance is available to help offset mesothelioma treatment costs. We continually update this section of our site as new mesothelioma treatment information becomes available.

Top Mesothelioma Surgeons in the Country
David Sugarbaker, M.D.

David Sugarbaker, M.D.

Professor of Surgery, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Director of the Lung Institute Map Marker Baylor College of Medicine
Raphael Bueno, M.D.

Raphael Bueno, M.D.

Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery; Vice Chair of Surgery for Cancer and Translational Research Map Marker Brigham and Women's Hospital

Asbestos Exposure and Cancer

Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively in the 20th century throughout the United States, in a wide variety of applications. Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous and harmful to workers and their families. Many of these products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by both the individuals who manufactured the products as well as those who used them at commercial, industrial and military jobsites. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools and other public facilities also posed high risk areas for asbestos exposure.

Asbestos related cancer is common among military veterans who we exposed on naval ships, in shipyards and at military bases. Naval ships where exposure occurred include aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines, warships and others. Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. At commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites, many workers were put at risk. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics, machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Veterans and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Veterans

Although rare, mesothelioma affects veterans from all branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. As mesothelioma has a long latency period and can remain dormant for several decades, veterans who served our country from 1930 through 1980 are just now being diagnosed with the disease.

Navy veterans who worked in navy shipyards and or served on our nation's warships and submarine's from WWII through the Vietnam War were exposed to high concentrations of deadly asbestos and are at a high risk for developing mesothelioma. Boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and other areas of naval vessels were the most common areas where asbestos was present. As a result, Navy veterans are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma. Financial assistance and help with VA Benefits is available to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Legal Help

Mesothelioma Lawyer

Asbestos manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to hide the dangers of asbestos from the public, while at the same time profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products. Those suffering from Mesothelioma can seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products by hiring a competent mesothelioma lawyer.

When deciding whether or not you should pursue your legal rights, you should think about the following three things. First, asbestos manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and knowingly put hardworking men and women at risk. Second, treatment for mesothelioma can be very expensive. Third, by exercising your legal rights, you can protect your loved ones in the future.

Once you make the decision to pursue your rights, a competent asbestos attorney will maximize recovery from both viable and bankrupt asbestos defendants. Over 65 asbestos trusts have been established holding billions of dollars combined across them. These asbestos trust funds have been set aside to help compensate those workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos related diseases. The legal process to compensate mesothelioma victims is not overly burdensome and should be strongly considered to help offset treatment costs and to provide financial security for loved ones.

Upcoming Events

October 01, 2016

Healthy Lung Month

“Healthy Lung Month is all about taking a more proactive, preventative role in our health, and putting the spotlight on an oft-forgotten organ: the lungs. Join the MCA in raising awareness of Healthy Lung Month.”

October 29, 2016
Denver, Colorado

American Public Health Association(APHA) 144th Annual Meeting

“APHA's 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo brings together more than 12,000 peers from across the U.S. and around the world to network, educate, and share experiences. This year they'll be talking about health equity and ensuring the right to health.”

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


October 20, 2016
Heather Von St. James

Fall Mesothelioma Awareness: Kayaking 4 Meso

“I love fall...especially September, but for more reasons that just the cooler weather and leaves changing color. September is a month that is full off mesothelioma awareness and fundraising events all over the country!”

Mesothelioma News

October 20, 2016
College Park, Maryland

At Least 90 University of Maryland Buildings Found to Contain Asbestos

“Ninety buildings at the University of Maryland have tested positive for asbestos, including five that are classified as hazardous to the public.”

October 18, 2016
Canberra, Australia

Asbestos Insulation Linked to Increase in Australian Mesothelioma Cases

“The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has seen an increase in mesothelioma cases, and a new study shows it might be linked to asbestos insulation. ”


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