Mesothelioma is a tumour which occurs when malignant cells develop in the mesothelium - a protective lining that covers some of the body’s internal organs. It most commonly occurs in the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall) but can also occur in the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart) or in the peritoneum (the abdominal cavity lining).


The majority of people who develop mesothelioma are those who have worked in jobs where they have been exposed to asbestos. However it can also occur when people are exposed to asbestos indirectly for example, by washing a family member's asbestos covered overalls, living near a factory where asbestos was used or attending a school where asbestos materials were disturbed.



The symptoms of mesothelioma may include:


  • Shortness of breath

  • Pleural effusions (fluid on the lungs)

  • Chest pain

  • Coughing

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Excessive sweating

  • Hoarseness

  • Swelling of the face and arms

  • Trouble swallowing


Whilst many of these symptoms can be associated with other diseases and conditions, if you are experiencing any of them, we recommend you visit your GP as soon as possible. If you are aware that you have been exposed to asbestos in the past then do inform your GP.




Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed following:


  • Referral by your GP to see a hospital consultant

  • A chest X-ray and/or CT scan

  • A biopsy


We understand the difficulties that being diagnosed with mesothelioma can cause for you and your family. We are here to offer friendly support and advice during this difficult time.


If you have a query about any of the information on this site then BASG are more than happy to help you, please contact us on or call 0118 467 6544.