Mesothelioma Information

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Mesothelioma is a tumor that forms on the mesothelium, which is the lining that covers the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma, and it affects the lungs. Mesothelioma has no cure and is usually malignant, meaning it is cancerous.

Free 2019 Mesothelioma Guide

A mesothelioma diagnosis feels devastating to the families who face it. Everyone feels lost and overwhelmed at first.

You probably have many questions about treatment and surviving the disease.

Information about mesothelioma being explained to an older couple by Karen Selby, Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate for the Mesothelioma Center.
Karen Selby, RN and Patient Advocate, reviews our Mesothelioma Guide, one of the best sources of information and support on this rare cancer.

We created this resource to support newly diagnosed patients and their loved ones navigate every aspect of living with mesothelioma. From here, you can find more information about mesothelioma, its treatment and the many ways you can support yourself and your family through this experience.

One of the most important first steps after a mesothelioma diagnosis is getting a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist. These doctors have the skills and experience necessary to treat this rare cancer on an individual basis. They can get you access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, you can learn all about mesothelioma and how the cancer is treated. We can find the support, resources and other help for mesothelioma you may need.

Information About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma primarily occurs in people who worked with asbestos for a long time. Some people were exposed through a family member who worked with asbestos. This is known as secondary exposure.

Quick Facts:
  • Average age of mesothelioma patient is 69. Source: American Cancer Society
  • Asbestos bankruptcy trusts contain more than $30 billion. Source: RAND Corporation
  • Estimated value of mesothelioma claim is $180,000. Source: RAND Corporation
  • 40% of mesothelioma patients survive at least 1 year. Source: American Cancer Society
  • Mesothelioma symptoms take 20-50 years to appear after exposure. Source: European Journal of Cancer Prevention
  • Approximately 3,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Source: American Cancer Society

Mesothelioma Treatment Resources

Mesothelioma is treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Clinical trials are testing new treatments including immunotherapy.

Speak With a Mesothelioma Expert

Get connected with a top mesothelioma specialist who can answer your questions and provide you with the best treatment plan.

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Mesothelioma Support Resources

Support for mesothelioma comes in many forms. Patients are encouraged to grow a strong support system involving family, friends, neighbors and community members.

Consider the following resources to support yourself and your family.

  • Wall of Hope: Visit our Wall of Hope to read stories from survivors of mesothelioma.

  • Blog: Our blog features articles written by mesothelioma survivors and our news highlights the latest treatment breakthroughs.

  • Support Group: Joining a support group offers a safe place to share your emotions and connect with other people facing cancer.

  • Mesothelioma Awareness: People are working on raising awareness about mesothelioma to increase funding for research.

  • Mesothelioma Cure: Doctors haven’t found a cure for mesothelioma, but they can put it into remission for a period of time.

  • Mesothelioma Caregiver Support: Former mesothelioma caregivers Melanie Ball, Lorraine Kember and Linda Chitwood provide tips and strategies for those now in the caregiver role.

Join Our Facebook Group for Patients & Caregivers

Financial Help

Another important form of support is financial help for mesothelioma. Treatment is expensive with and without insurance. Families can benefit from several different types of financial support including Social Security Disability, VA benefits, and travel, housing and treatment grants.

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients

Resources for Veterans Exposed to Asbestos

Veterans are disproportionally affected by mesothelioma. That’s because every branch of the U.S. armed forces used asbestos products until regulations were implemented the 1970s.

Additional Mesothelioma Information

A number of national, nonprofit and research organizations provide educational information, resources and other forms of help for mesothelioma patients and their families.

Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine provides a searchable database of clinical trials. Patients can visit to find new mesothelioma clinical trials and view results of past trials.

No one should have to face mesothelioma alone. We can help you access cancer resources and build the support system you need to overcome challenges. The road ahead may be bumpy, but you can inform yourself with knowledge and support yourself with resources to smooth the ride.

Exposed to Asbestos in the Military?

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Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate

Karen Selby joined in 2009. She is a registered nurse with a background in oncology and thoracic surgery and was the regional director of a tissue bank before becoming a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center. Karen has assisted surgeons with thoracic surgeries such as lung resections, lung transplants, pneumonectomies, pleurectomies and wedge resections. She is also a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at
Edited by

7 Cited Article Sources

  1. MedlinePlus. (2018, March 1). Mesothelioma.
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  2. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Mesothelioma.
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  3. National Cancer Institute. (2018, May 2). Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment.
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  4. Macmillan Cancer Support. (2018). Mesothelioma.
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  5. June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. (n.d.). Patient support groups.
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  6. National Cancer Institute. (2018, March 16). Nutrition in Cancer Care.
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  7. Cancer Care. (n.d.). Coping with Mesothelioma. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified September 13, 2019

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