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Mesothelioma was once considered a rare malignant tumour of mesothelial tissue, but is now relatively common. It occurs in approximately 15 per 1 million men and 2 per 1 million women. This disease may take up to 30 years to develop. A prominent symptom of malignant mesothelioma is nagging chest pain.

Surgery in the form of extra pleural pneumonectomy has been recently used for attempted cure of mesothelioma. However the long term effects and survival rate is very minimal.

Recent studies have shown that the use of chemotherapy drugs (gemcitabine and cisplatinum) may have some effect in shrinking mesothelioma. Increased survival and improvements in quality of life are encouraging.