Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissue that line different organs and spaces inside the body. This tissue, called mesothelium (mez-uh-thee-le-um), protects organs by making a special fluid that allows the organs to move.
Mesothelium surrounds the lungs, the stomach, the heart, and other organs. Tumors can start in any of these places. These tumors can be benign or they can be cancerous. The information that follows covers only those that are cancerous.
Some risk factors, such as smoking, can be controlled. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. But having a risk factor, or even several, doesn’t mean that a person will get the disease.
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