Glossary MesotheliomaMesothelium – the membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs. It is composed of two layers: one layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it.

Dyspnea – or shortness of breath (SOB) is perceived difficulty breathing or pain on breathing.

Thorascopy – a type of biopsy using a telescope-like instrument called a thorascope connected to a video camera is inserted through a small incision into the chest

Bronchoscopy – a flexible lighted tube is inserted down the trachea, and into the bronchi to check for masses in the airway. Through this method tissues that are abnormal will be removed for testing.

Staging – the term used to describe the extent of cancer and whether it has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

Peritoneum – the smooth transparent membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. When cancer cells are present in this area, one is suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma.

Pleura – the delicate serous membranous lining designed to keep the lungs together and to prevent friction while breathing. It covers the lungs and lines the chest wall. When cancer cells are present in this area, one is suffering from pleural mesothelioma.

Pneumonectomy – surgical removal of a lung. It is a kind of aggressive surgery whereas much cancer cells are removed by removing the entire affected area.

Latency Period – the period from initial exposure to a substance to the onset of the disease.

thoracentesis – the puncturing of the chest wall to obtain fluid for diagnostic study, drain pleural effusions, or to re-expand a collapsed lung.

Metastases(s) – Metastasis – the spread of disease from original site in the body to remote sites.