Mesothelioma (Glossary)

ACM: asbestos containing materials.

Alimta: a treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, given with Cisplatin, another chemotherapy, when surgery is not an option.

Amphiboles: a type of asbestos that includes the minerals actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and amosite.  Amphibole asbestos has straight, needle-like fibers that are more brittle than those of serpentine asbestos, making it less commercially viable.

Asbestos: a family of naturally occurring, fibrous minerals made of silicate found in various parts of the world.

Asbestosis: Formation of scar tissue in the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage.

Biopsy: a medical test involving the removal of cells or tissues for examination.

Chrysotile: the most commonly used commercial form of asbestos.

Cisplatin: a drug often used with Alimta to treat conditions associated with cancer.

Crocidolite: an amphibole form of asbestos linked most often to the development of mesothelioma.

Epidemiology: the branch of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease.

Friable: any material containing more than 1 % asbestos that when dry, can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.

Latency Period: how long it takes for a disease to manifest itself.

Metastasis: the spreading of a disease, especially cancer, to another part of the body.

Mesothelioma: a particularly serious and rare form of cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): the use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce protn density images of internal structures.

Non-friable Asbestos: Asbestos containing more than 1 % asbestos that when dry cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.

Oncology: the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of tumors.

Palliative Treatment: to treat a disease as much as possible without curing the disease.

Pericardium: a serous membrane with two layers that surrounds the heart.

Pericardial: located around the heart or relating to or affecting the pericardium.

Peritoneum: a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs.

Plaintiff: a party that brings suit in court.

Pleura: the chest cavity where the lungs sit.

Pleural Plaque: well-demarcated usually bilateral areas of fibrosis present on the inner surface of the ribcage and the diaphragm.

Pulmonary Fibrosis: involves scarring of the lung. Gradually, the air sacs of the lungs become replaced by fibrotic tissue. When the scar forms, the tissue becomes thicker causing an irreversible loss of the tissue’s ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.

Resectable: able to be surgically removed.

Screening: checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

Statute of Limitations: a statute that establishes how long after a certain action occurred that legal proceedings may proceed.

Staging: describes the extent or severity of an individual’s cancer.

Thoracoscopy: a medical procedure involving internal inspection of the pleural cavity.

Tort: a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another's person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation.

Unresectable: not able to be surgically removed.