Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the membrane linings that cover and protect internal organs of the body. This lining is called the mesothelium. The mesothelium is composed of two layers of cells known as mesothelial cells. One layer surrounds the organ and the other forms a protective barrier around the organ. The protective barrier allows the organs to move.
The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. Other common sites include the stomach and the heart.
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.
Did You Know?
About 3 out of 4 mesotheliomas start in the chest cavity which protects the lungs. Another 10%-20% begin in the stomach or peritoneal (the lining of the stomach). The remaining which can start around the heart or the testicles, are extremely rare.