What is it?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in the form of a tumor that begins formation in the protective lining/membrane of various internal organs known as the mesothelium; the mesothelium lines primarily the lungs, heart and abdominal cavity. Therefore there are three main types of Mesothelioma:
- Pleural Mesothelioma: begins in the lining of the lung and is the most common type.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma: begins in the lining of the abdominal cavity.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma: beings in the lining of the heart.
What causes it?
- Environmental and external chemical agents that an individual is exposed to due to their lifestyle e.g. asbestos.
- Genetic susceptibility.
- Exposure to particular viruses, diseases and conditions.
- Exposure to radiation.
What are we doing about it?
The Institute for Respiratory Health’s research programs explore new ways to prevent, and better understand mesothelioma and improve its diagnosis and management.
Other mesothelioma information can be found at National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), Lung Foundation Australia, Cancer Council and Healthdirect Australia.