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Mesothelioma Facts: What the Elderly Need
to Know

March 27, 2015 | by Lynda Neuenschwander

Why do you need to know about mesothelioma?

The incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in elderly patients is increasing. Owing to the long latent period following asbestos exposure, MPM is often diagnosed late in life. A high rate of diagnosis in elderly patients is reported by several mesothelioma registers and epidemiological studies (Price and Ware, 2004; Marinaccio et al, 2005). The median age of disease onset in the United States has been recently reported to be 74 years, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (SEER Database, 2007).

What is Mesothelioma?

The tissue that lines your lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs is called mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a tumor of that tissue. It usually starts in the lungs, but can also start in the abdomen or other organs. Most often, mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. It can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer.) Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but serious type of cancer.

Causes of Mesothelioma

Most people who get it have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles. After being exposed to asbestos, it usually takes a long time for the disease to form. Other causes [of mesothelioma] include zeolites, radiation, and more. There are many veterans who are now in their elderly years, and because they served in the military when asbestos was frequently used for many of military materials, they are at a higher risk for contracting the disease of mesothelioma.

Continue Reading - Mesothelioma Facts: What the Elderly Need to Know


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2015 February 6 What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?
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