Mesothelioma is cancer of the lining of a body part. Mesothelioma can occur in the lining of the abdomen, heart, and most commonly, the chest. The disease is most prevalent in men age 65 or older and is almost always associated with asbestos exposure that may have occurred 25-30 years prior to the diagnosis. Mesothelioma is the deadliest of asbestos exposure related illnesses, and there is no effective cure or treatment. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue and pleural effusions. Mesothelioma testing is initiated by a CT scan, followed by biopsy and lab testing with specialized stains. Mesothelioma is deadly and life expectancy averages only 4-18 months following a diagnosis. The disease can lay dormant for years after exposure to asbestos, so if you suspect or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the work related exposure may well have occurred long ago.