What Are the Causes of Mesothelioma?

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn if you are and start immediately. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here. To learn what are the causes of mesothelioma, keep reading.

Mesothelioma is a rare, progressive, and fatal cancer affecting the body's chest and abdominal cavities. The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral commonly used as a construction material. Asbestos is in industrial settings and is present in various products, including building materials, machinery, and furniture. Most people are unaware of when and where they were exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on location in the body the cancer is located. The most common symptoms are:

  • chest pain
  • coughing
  • fatigue
  • shortness or breath
  • and abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • night sweats.

If you experience these, you should make an appointment to see your doctor soon.

People at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here. To learn what are the causes of mesothelioma, keep reading.

The people at the highest risk of mesothelioma include:


The United States military members are often subjected to asbestos exposure in military bases and aboard naval ships. Some of the highest concentrations of asbestos fibers were in shipyards, engine/boiler rooms, and in living quarters.

Shipyard Workers

Shipyard workers have a much higher chance of developing mesothelioma. Typical exposure to asbestos is used to make various construction materials. While this mineral is naturally occurring, it can become dangerous when it breaks down in heat, friction, and pressure. Shipyard workers are exposed when working near machinery that contains asbestos parts.

Construction Workers

Suppose you worked in construction trades exposed to asbestos, such as insulation or pipe fitting. In that case, you may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.

Power Plant Workers

People who work at power plants or help build, install, and repair power plants are most at risk of developing mesothelioma. The installation of heating and cooling equipment in power plants may also expose workers.

Auto Mechanics

Auto mechanics are among the most at-risk groups for developing mesothelioma. Exposure can occur through inhaling lint, dust, and powder laced with asbestos.

Boiler Workers

Anyone who works with boilers or steam pipes is at risk of developing mesothelioma. This includes those on a construction crew during the installation of boilers and those involved with installing or repairing these systems. The steam in the pipes created a lot of heat, and to keep them from overheating, asbestos was added.

Types of Mesothelioma

There are several types of mesothelioma, and each type is defined by where the tumor develops in the body.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is sometimes called malignant pleural mesothelioma. It's a cancer of the thin layer of tissue that covers most of the chest and the lungs. The cancer cells spread from this sheet (called the pleura) to nearby lung areas and, occasionally, outside the lungs.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer that develops in the lining of the abdomen. This type of cancer, also known as peritoneal mesothelioma, can be diagnosed via a tissue biopsy and a CT scan. The treatment typically includes surgery and chemotherapy.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma occurs when mesothelial cells from pleural mesothelioma transform into cancerous cells and grow onto the outside of the pericardium. The presence of pericardial mesothelioma symptoms may be mild or severe, depending on whether cancer has only appeared on the pericardium or traveled further into surrounding tissues.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer linked to fiber exposure. This cancer develops in 1 in every 2 million men each year. It affects the cellular linings surrounding the testicles, called the tunica vaginalis.

Common Mesothelioma Testing Procedures

What Are the Causes of Mesothelioma?

Suppose you are at the early stages of a mesothelioma diagnosis. In that case, your physician may recommend several different types of tests that help doctors evaluate the extent of cancer and related complications. The following are a couple of more common testing procedures for mesothelioma that your doctor might choose to conduct during your examination:

Imaging Scans

Imaging scans are probably the most useful diagnostic test for determining malignant mesothelioma. These tests allow doctors to see what is happening with organs in your chest or abdomen more clearly than with a physical exam. A chest X-ray provides essential information about your lungs and can reveal an abnormal buildup of fluid between the lung and the chest cavity (pleural effusion). Computerized Tomography Scan (CT scan) or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) creates three-dimensional pictures of organs in your chest and abdomen, which may help doctors determine the size and location of the tumor(s).


The removal of tissue is essential in diagnosing mesothelioma, and this procedure is used extensively by doctors as a diagnostic tool. Biopsies are carried out to detect the presence of mesothelioma cancer. A biopsy can be taken via either keyhole surgery (percutaneous biopsy) or an open incision (open surgery), using special instruments that guide the surgeon about the exact location of any suspected cancerous cells.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are one of the most common testing procedures for mesothelioma patients. Doctors will be able to examine your blood for signs of exposure. A complete blood count (CBC), the most common blood test used to detect mesothelioma, is a total blood count (CBC). This test will measure the number and proportions of several cell types in your white blood cells. A CBC alone cannot directly indicate mesothelioma, but any changes in the values could show exposure or a sign of more severe health conditions.


One of the essential concepts in cancer care is staging. Knowing which organs are affected by a specific type of cancer is critical to successful treatment, and discovering which stage your tumor falls into is often the first step toward making an effective plan. Staging cancer begins with an examination and other evaluation of several characteristics. These individual tests help determine whether or not you have early-stage, intermediate-stage, or advanced-stage tumors.

Mesothelioma Cell Types

There are a variety of mesothelioma cell types. Some of these subtypes require unique treatments to be effective against them effectively or even treatment at all.


Epithelioid mesothelioma cells are non-aggressive and produce only a skinny fibrous outer layer of cells. They tend to have much smaller tumors than other mesothelioma types and are very responsive to treatment.


The sarcomatoid cell type makes up the least of Mesothelioma cancer cell types. The cells are generally spindle-shaped, long, and thin. The sarcomatoid cells may be benign or malignant. These Mesothelioma cells can develop into fibrous tumors, known as fibrosarcomas. Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is an incredibly aggressive type of cancer that makes survival extremely rare. Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma patients have a median survival rate of 4-7 months without treatment or between 6-12 months after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.


Biphasic mesothelioma is the most common type, making up approximately 50 percent of all cases. Biphasic mesothelioma features cells from both epithelial and sarcomatoid cell types. This makes them more challenging to treat than pure cell types.

Stages of Mesothelioma

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here. To learn what are the causes of mesothelioma, keep reading.

There are four stages of mesothelioma.

Stage 1

The first stage, called stage 1A, is when the cancer is small and has not grown into the lining around the lung. Stage 1B is when the tumor has grown into the lining but hasn't yet reached the chest wall or pleura (the lining surrounding your lungs). It is the most treatable stage of mesothelioma. Surgeons may remove all visible tumors and often treat them with adjuvant therapies that kill any remaining cancer cells.

Stage 2

Stage 2 mesothelioma, the second of four stages, is when cancer cells have begun moving beyond the point where they first formed. During this stage, tumors are confined to the original organ and its lining and regional lymph nodes. The two main factors determining how long you can expect to live in stage 2 mesothelioma include cell type and tissue, which your doctor will decide.

Stage 3

Stage 3 mesothelioma (M3) is the most advanced stage of the disease. By this stage, cancer has spread to one or more of the chest wall muscles and pleural lining. The lungs and heart may also be affected. In stage 3 cancer care, patients will require surgery during their battle with mesothelioma. The number one reason a patient needs surgery is that their tumor has become too large for radiation therapy to be effective.

Stage 4

Stage IV is the final stage of mesothelioma and is the least common. Cancer has spread beyond the lungs to other organs in the body, and the cancer cells are widely distributed throughout the lungs and the chest. People with Stage IV mesothelioma typically have a life expectancy from 12 to 25 months from diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Treatments can vary depending on the type and stage of mesothelioma a person has. Below are some of the most common mesothelioma treatment options.


Surgery is the preferred method of treatment when caught early enough. Mesothelioma doctors can remove the cancerous cells and tissues associated with the disease. The doctor will attempt to remove as many cancerous cells and tissues as possible, slowing down or eliminating further metastasis to other body parts. Removing these cancerous cells and tissues may also be an excisional debulking procedure or cytoreductive surgery.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to kill cancer cells. External beams or internal radioactive materials may give radiation for mesothelioma treatment. Doctors may inject radioactive material directly into the tumor's area if traditional methods do not work. Many chemotherapy drugs are also radioactive. So, patients often receive chemotherapy treatments and radiation therapy to increase their chances of recovery.


Immunotherapy is an experimental new treatment that stimulates the immune system to help control or cure cancer. It harnesses the immune system's power and directs it against cancer cells. It has proven to be the most promising treatment for malignant mesothelioma. It works in several ways. It helps stop cancer from growing by blocking a tumor growth factor, or TGF.

Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields)

This non-invasive treatment option may be even more effective than these conventional options. With this treatment, Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are applied directly to your chest to target the malignant cells just below the lining of your lung. Studies show that TTFields can reduce tumor size, help control symptoms and prolong your life while improving your quality of life.

Clinical Trials

If you qualify for clinical trials, your physician may offer one of these innovative immunotherapies as a treatment option. These drugs are designed to help the BRAF inhibitors and chemotherapy. Mesothelioma treatments, such as clinical trials, may require close monitoring, involve side effects, and even cost money for travel, time off work, and more. With these new clinical trial options, mesothelioma patients' future is looking brighter. To sign up for clinical trials that match you, fill out the form to get started today.

What to Do to Protect Yourself From Mesothelioma

You may be eligible for compensation if you're one of the millions diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here. To learn what are the causes of mesothelioma, keep reading.

Protecting yourself from mesothelioma and other lung diseases caused by asbestos exposure is not too late. Shoveling or working with its fixtures and products may put you at risk of developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis. Wear protective gear and follow safety precautions when working with.

Most importantly, use disposable or at least washable clothes and shoes to avoid further contamination that could put you or others at risk. Wearing a respirator mask will keep particles from being inhaled. Tools should be thoroughly cleaned and covered before being stored to prevent fiber exposure when possible.


The leading cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. If you have been diagnosed, you should speak with an attorney to explore your legal options to ensure care and compensation.

If you're one of the millions of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today to learn if you are and get started right away. You can also learn more about the mesothelioma claims process here.

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