Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Generally speaking, the more a person is exposed to asbestos, the greater his or her risk of developing the disease will be. In most cases, it takes several years (sometimes even decades) after the initial exposure for the disease to manifest itself.
Although there is treatment available for mesothelioma, the majority of patients who are diagnosed with the disease will eventually die from it. Symptoms of mesothelioma typically include pain in the chest wall, shortness of breath, fluid around the lungs, fatigue, wheezing, or blood in the sputum.