Surgical Lung & Chest Care
From the Thoracic Surgery Team at Columbia University


Mesothelioma is a cancer found in membranes lining the lungs or chest cavity or the abdominal cavity.

Key Info

  • Mesothelioma is frequently caused by environmental exposure, namely by asbestos. It can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
  • Treatment involves chemotherapy and radiation following surgery on the pleura of the lungs

Mesothelioma occurs mainly in men over the age of 50 and is frequently associated with prior environmental or occupational exposure to asbestos. It can be diagnosed only by biopsy.

Those with mesothelioma usually have progressive shortness of breath due to the thickening of membranes and contraction of breathing space. Fluid may accumulate in the lungs, which also makes breathing difficult.

Treatment often requires major surgery on the pleura (the lining membrane of the lung) and the lung and may involve post-surgical chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Next Steps

If you need help for a lung or chest issue, we’re here for you. Call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients,
or request an appointment online to get started today.

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