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Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a malignant tumour that in most cases (>80%) originates in the pleura, but can also originate in the peritoneum or pericardium. With a new case rate of about 20 cases per million population, this type of cancer is rare, and pleural mesothelioma most often affects men. Up to 90 % of the diseases are due to exposure to asbestos: Mesotheliomas are classified as signal tumours of occupational asbestos exposure and are considered an occupational disease. The number of cases of the disease is still rising despite the long-standing ban on asbestos processing in many industrialised countries, as a latency period of 50 years on average is assumed.1

Treatment of this rare tumour disease is carried out in specialised centres. Surgical interventions, radiotherapies, chemotherapies, as well as pain therapy approaches are used with the aim of prolonging life and improving quality of life.1

1 Neumann V. et al. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: incidence, aetiology, diagnosis, therapy and occupational medicine. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110: 319 – 326.

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