Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs, themesothelium. The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Less commonly the lining of the abdomen and rarely the sac surrounding the heart or the sac surrounding the testis may be affected. Signs and symptoms which develop slowly include shortness of breath, a swollen abdomen, chest wall pain, cough, feeling tired, and weight loss. Greater than 80% of mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. The greater the exposure the greater the risk. As of 2013 about 125 million people have been exposed to asbestos at work. High rates of disease occur in people who mine asbestos, produce products from asbestos, work with asbestos products, live with asbestos workers, or work in buildings containing asbestos. Often it takes around 40 years for the disease to begin.Diagnosis typically occurs after the age of 65 and most deaths occur around 70 years old.Prevention centersaround reducing exposure to asbestos.
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