• Lynette M. Sholl
  • Marina Vivero


In approximately 90 % of cases, malignant mesothelioma arises in the pleura, where it is often diagnosed at a late stage and associated with relatively rapid death. A causal link between asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma was first drawn in studies published in the 1960s; this association has since been confirmed in diverse populations across the globe in relation to both occupational exposures and naturally occurring forms of environmental asbestos. The risk of pleural mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos is dose dependent, and the risk increases in a linear or supralinear fashion over time, even after exposure cessation. The clinical presentation of mesothelioma lags behind the time of first exposure by about 30 years (latency period). Worldwide, men are three- to fourfold more likely to die of malignant pleural mesothelioma than women. This observation reflects higher likelihood of more intense asbestos exposure among men than women in post-World War II industrial practice.


Latency Asbestos Exposure Mesothelioma Radiation Prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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