According to The National Cancer Institute, malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (pleura), the abdomen (peritoneum), or the heart (pericardium). Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos. Asbestos may cause a variety of diseases, from non-cancerous forms such as asbestosis, to much more serious diseases such as mesothelioma. Workers exposed to asbestos in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, are coming down with these diseases decades later due to the long latency period associated with all asbestos disease.
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