What causes mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, agroup of minerals made of microscopic fibres thatused to be widely used in construction.

These tiny fibres can easily get in the lungs, where they get stuck, damaging thelungsover time.It usually takes a while for this to cause any obvious problems, with mesotheliomatypically developing more than20 yearsafter exposure to asbestos.

The use of asbestos was completely banned in 1999, so the risk of exposure is much lower nowadays. However,materials containing asbestos are still found in many older buildings.

For example, regularly draining fluid from your chest may help your breathing and strong painkillers may helprelieveyour pain.

Sometimes, a procedure is carried out to stop the fluid coming back again by making the outside of the lungs stick to the inside of your chest (pleurodesis), or a tube is put in your chest to drain the fluid regularly at home. Your doctors should discuss these treatments with you.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018