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What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumour involving the pleura (lining of lung), induced by asbestos exposure in most cases. There is generally a long latency between the asbestos exposure and more than 2,400 mesothelioma deaths are registered each year in the UK. Hundreds of thousands of lives will be claimed in Europe in the next 50 years as a result of the asbestos legacy.


  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • More rarely, difficulty with swallowing, hoarseness, nerve pain.


To make a diagnosis, doctors will usually withdraw fluid from the chest cavity under local anaesthetic or conduct a minor surgical procedure called a thorascopy, to drain the fluid from the chest cavity to extract a biopsy from the pleura.

  • Epithelioid - (70% of cases) carries a better prognosis
  • Biphasic - (20% of cases) intermediate prognosis
  • Sarcomatoid - (10% of cases) most aggressive tumour type.

At The Mesothelioma Clinic at The Lister Hospital we are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Mesothelioma.