About mesothelioma

What is mesothelioma?

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in lung lining diagram.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that starts in the protective linings of major organs in the area around the stomach and chest.

  • Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a type of cancer that affects the linings of the lungs
    • It is the most common type of mesothelioma
  • Most people are diagnosed when they are 65 years of age or older

Just because MPM is a rare disease, doesn't mean you're alone in this fight.
Learning that you’ve been diagnosed with MPM can put a lot on your mind. Having the support
of a loved one or caregiver will be important as you begin treatment.
See treatment options

What causes mesothelioma?

Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma according to
the American Cancer Society® and is closely associated with past exposure
at certain kinds of jobs. In fact, at least 90% of all mesothelioma cases are
due to asbestos exposure.

About 3,000 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States.
During this time (1940 to 1979), roughly 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos

Some jobs that have been identified as high risk include working:


In a shipyard or the
boiler room of a ship

Brake repair

In brake repair


In construction

Asbestos removal

In asbestos removal

Insulation materials

With insulation materials


As a firefighter

Optune Lua + chemotherapy* is an FDA-approved treatment. View study results

*Pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy.

Next: How is malignant pleural mesothelioma treated?
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