Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the external lining of the lung (the pleura) and the lining of the lower digestive tract. It is almost always fatal with most of those affected usually dying within twelve months of diagnosis. Asbestos is responsible for causing the vast majority of Mesothelioma cases in Great Britain.
There are currently about 4 times as many deaths in men as there are in women each year. This is largely a reflection of the fact that past asbestos exposures that caused many of these deaths tended to occur in occupational settings, and in jobs mainly held by men rather than women. Although still caused by asbestos, a minority of currently occurring female deaths are directly attributable to occupational exposures.
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