One difference between lung cancer and mesothelioma is that mesothelioma is a tumor that could be either noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant,) while lung cancer is malignant. Another difference is the specific tissue that is involved.
Lung cancer is a malignant tumor in the lung airways and lung tissue. All lung tissue is encased within the pleural membrane. Asbestos fibers that lodge in the lung airway tissue can cause cancer in the lung itself. Lung cancer has many other causes in addition to asbestos exposure.
Pleural mesothelioma is a tumor, either benign or malignant, that is growing in the pleural membrane tissue that encases the lung. This tissue is called mesothelium. Asbestos fibers that lodge in the pleural mesothelium encasing the lung can cause a tumor called mesothelioma. Most cases of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma usually begins in either the pleura, or the peritoneum, which is a similar lining around abdominal organs. Once the tumor becomes malignant, or cancerous, the disease can metastasize, spreading to other organs and throughout the body, regardless of where it starts. Studies show a strong correlation between asbestos exposure and cancer of the lungs and mesothelioma.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, please contact the experienced mesothelioma lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for a free initial consultation.