What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that most commonly starts in the layers of tissue that cover each lung (the pleura). Read more about how common it is, what it is and who gets it.

Symptoms of mesothelioma

There aren't many symptoms in the early stages of mesothelioma. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can include chest pain, shortness of breath and extreme tiredness.

Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma

You usually start by seeing your GP who might refer you to a specialist. Or you might go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) if you suddenly have severe symptoms.

Survival for mesothelioma

Survival depends on many factors including the stage and type of your mesothelioma. The statistics for mesothelioma survival can only be used as a general guide.

Treatment for mesothelioma

Unfortunately, mesothelioma can be difficult to treat as it is often found when it is advanced. The treatment you have depends on the stage and type of your mesothelioma.

Stages of mesothelioma

The staging system most commonly used in the UK for pleural mesothelioma is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system. Read about the stages of mesothelioma and your treatment options.

Types and grades of mesothelioma

There are 3 main types of mesothelioma. The grade gives your doctor an idea of how the cancer might behave. Knowing this helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need.

Research and clinical trials for mesothelioma

Read about the latest research in mesothelioma and about taking part in clinical trials.

Living with mesothelioma

A lot of practical and emotional support is available to you. Get advice on living with mesothelioma and find further resources and support.

Risks and causes of mesothelioma

Asbestos causes most cases of pleural mesothelioma. Learn more about the causes of mesothelioma and who is more likely to get it.

Last reviewed: 
17 May 2023
Next review due: 
17 Apr 2026
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