Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma cancer invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs. The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma also attacks the lining of either the heart, abdomen, or testicles.
The mesothelium has two layers: one around the organ itself and another forming an outer sac. Between these two layers is a fluid that aids organ movement. Mesothelioma causes the mesothelial cells to multiply wildly and to produce excess lubricating fluid. Ultimately, the mesothelium becomes a thick, tumorous coating of the organ accompanied by excessive fluid. This coating and fluid prevent complete, comfortable expansion of the lung.