Glossary of Mesothelioma Keywords & Associated Terms

This page is designed to help you or a loved one familiarize yourself with all the medical terms and common keywords that are associated with mesothelioma cancer.  If by chance you have a more specific question that you need an answer to, please do not hesitate to use our free “ask a question” service.


Asbestos is a natural heat-resistant fibrous mineral that was mined heavily during the late 1800’s – 1980’s.  It was in high demand because of its fire-resistant characteristics. Asbestos is also known for being the main cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis.


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops and attacks the protective tissue lining (mesothelium) of internal organs. There are four types of mesothelioma and they are all considered a man-made cancer because it is directly associated with a person being exposed to asbestos, which mankind mined out of the earth for nearly a century and sold around the world.

Pleural Mesothelioma:

Pleural Mesothelioma Is the most common out of the four types of mesothelioma and it attacks the lining of the lungs. As briefly mentioned, it is the most common form of this asbestos-related cancer as it accounts for 3 out of 4 (75%) mesothelioma diagnoses. Pleural mesothelioma begins in the cells that line the sacs of the chest (pleura).  Once the cancer cells invade this outer lining of the internal chest wall and lungs, it then officicially becomes known as pleural mesothelioma.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma:

The tissue lining of the abdominal cavity is called the peritoneum. It contains a fluid which aids in keeping the contents of the abdomen safe. When asbestos is consumed (not inhaled), Peritoneal Mesothelioma is the usual outcome.

Pericardial Mesothelioma:

The 3rd least common type of mesothelioma is Pericardial Mesothelioma.  This occurs when the cancer cells invade the fluid sac lining that surrounds the heart (pericardium), which is often spread from the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) to the lining of the heart.  

Testicular Mesothelioma:

Testicular Mesotheliomaalso known as, tunica vaginalisis the rarest form of mesothelioma. It makes up less than one percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses.

Last Modified: Mar 19, 2017 @ 9:41 am

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