Exposure to Asbestos
In a friable (easily pulverized or crumbled) form, prolonged exposure to, and inhalation of, asbestos can lead to major health problems, including mesothelioma. Because of a long latency period, signs of major asbestos-related health problems can take from between 10 and 50 years to develop after exposure.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the lining of the body’s internal organs. Exposure to airborne asbestos particles greatly increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma and is the most common cause of the disease.
Stages of Mesothelioma
The treatment and outlook for those stricken with mesothelioma largely depends on the stage of their cancer. Therefore, it is important to understand the three staging systems used for pleural mesothelioma. Since mesothelioma of the pleura occurs most frequently and has been the most studied, it is the only type of mesothelioma for which a staging classification exists.