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Mesothelioma: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Mesothelioma, a tumor that arises from a sheet of cells known as the mesothelium, which lines body cavities and forms layers of tissue that are referred to as the pleura and peritoneum. The pleura is located in the chest cavity, either lining the chest wall (parietal pleura) or covering the lung (visceral pleura), and the peritoneum is the corresponding tissue in the abdomen. Approximately 75 percent of mesothelioma cases originate in the chest. Epithelial cells can also be found in other areas of the body, such as the scrotum and pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart), and in rare cases the tumor may arise primarily in those locations.

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