Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation staging Treatment questions for doctor specialist Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Cancer of the Pleura Underlying Cause

As many as 80% of those with mesothelioma have had a long-term exposure to asbestos. Asbestos may play a role in damaging the cells that line the lung, which then leads to cancer.

The cause for mesothelioma is unknown, but genetics may also play a role in determining risk.

Genes control the functions inside a cell. Special genes control how cells divide and grow. Cancer occurs when the damaged genes stimulate the cell to multiply out of control. The exact cause for this damage is unknown.


  • DNA
  • Genes on chromosomes
  • Cancer cells
  • Cancer cell division

Continue to Cancer of the Pleura Anatomy

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer of the Pleura References
  1. Laden F, Stampfer MJ, Walker AM. Lung cancer and mesothelioma among male automobile mechanics: a review. Rev Environ Health. 2004 Jan-Mar;19(1):39-61. [15186039]
  2. Maziak DE, Gagliardi A, Haynes AE, Mackay JA, Evans WK; Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care Lung Cancer Disease Site Group. Surgical management of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a systematic review and evidence summary. Lung Cancer. 2005 May;48(2):157-69. [15829316]
  3. van Ruth S, Baas P, Zoetmulder FA. Surgical treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a review. Chest. 2003 Feb;123(2):551-61. [12576380]
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