Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. The most common site of Mesothelioma is the pleura the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, but Mesothelioma may also occur in the peritoneum the lining of the abdominal cavity, the heart,the pericardium a sac that surrounds the heart or tunica vaginalis.
People who are affected by mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma.