NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
6 What is mesothelioma?
7 How does mesothelioma start?
8 Websites | Review
What is mesothelioma?
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the medical name
for cancer that starts in the mesothelium of the lungs.
It is also simply called mesothelioma. It isn’t lung
cancer. Lung cancer begins inside the lungs.
The lungs are covered by a double layer of thin tissue
called the pleura. The pleura protects and cushions
the lungs. Its inner layer of tissue is called the visceral
pleura. This layer is directly attached to the lungs and
extends down into the spaces between the lobes of
the lungs. The outer layer of the pleura is called the
parietal pleura. It lines the chest wall and has contact
with many body parts in the chest.
See Figure 1.
chest wall is the layer of muscle and bones under the
skin in the chest area.
The pleura is made of mesothelium and connective
tissue. Mesothelium is a single layer of cells that
makes lubricating fluid and lines most organs inside
the body. Connective tissue supports the mesothelium
and supplies it with blood. Connective tissue attaches
the pleura to other body parts.
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Figure 1. Pleural mesothelium