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Malignant pleural mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare form of lung cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

What is MPM?

MPM is a rare and malignant type of lung cancer in which a tumor forms in the lining that covers the lungs and chest walls (pleura). MPM is often aggressive and hard to control. This means these tumors have the potential to grow and spread to other parts of the body.

What causes MPM?

MPM is caused mainly by inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers. These fibers can accumulate in the lining of the lung, and over decades, cause damage that can lead to cancer. Asbestos is a natural material, now known to be a human cancer-causing agent. Before the negative effects of asbestos were understood, it was used as an insulator. People were/are often exposed to asbestos if they work in construction, older buildings, industry, or with old boilers and insulated piping. It often takes between 20 to 50 years after the initial asbestos exposure before symptoms of mesothelioma occur.

Is there treatment for MPM?

Standard treatment for MPM may involve surgery to remove some or part of the lung or lining of the lung, combined with chemotherapy drugs. There are currently no approved treatments for MPM if the first round of treatment fails. Researchers are working to find other options. Clinical research studies can offer access to a variety of investigational drugs.

Where can I learn more about MPM?

More information and support for people with MPM is available at the resources below. Note: this list is not exhaustive.

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