Exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor for malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers are inhaled through the breathing passages and then travel to the lining of the lungs.
Signs & symptoms
As with many cancers, the early stages of malignant mesothelioma can be overlooked as many of the symptoms can be linked to other diseases. Symptoms can include pain in the lower back or side of the chest, chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, cough, fever, and weight loss.
Physicians use one or more methods to confirm the presence of mesothelioma and these include chest x-rays, CT, MRI, or PET scans.
Treatment options for malignant mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, and can also include a combination of these therapies.