Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the lining of the body's internal organs, a thin layer of cells known as the mesothelium. While very thin, this layer of cells is vitally important to organ function and the health of the inner body structures. There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the pleural lining of the lungs and is the most common form of the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs within the peritoneum, which lines the abdominal cavity and is the second most common form of the disease. Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest variety of the disease and occurs in the pericardial lining of the heart. The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, though other factors, such as smoking may increase the likeliness of the disease in certain individuals.

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