Mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a form of cancer that develops in the cells of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a protective membrane that covers most of the body's internal organs, such as the lungs, heart and the stomach. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that allows for a smooth movement for these tissues. Mesothelioma occurs when malignant or cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium.
Cells in the mesothelium may became abnormal and divide without any control. These cancerous cells may be found in the pleura (lining of the chest and lung), the peritoneum (the abdomen) and the pericardium (the space around the heart). Metastasizes occurs when cancer cells spread form the site from where they originated (in the case of mesothelioma from the mesothelium) to other parts of the body.
These cells can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
Mesothelioma is both a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma takes between 20 to 50 years to develop. Because of this it is older individuals that are usually the victims. Because it is a rare disease mesothelioma is usually difficult to diagnose and so to treat effectively. There was a time where oncologists (physicians that specialize in the treatment of cancer preferred to concentrate on other types of cancers where information was readily available.
Fortunately nowadays there are a large number of oncologists that are interested to treat the disease. This type of cancer is highly connected with exposure to asbestos.
For more info go to Mesothelioma Cancer