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Mesothelioma Terms

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos:  A Glossary of Related Terms and Definitions

By Candice Pardue 

Understanding the terminology commonly associated with mesothelioma and asbestos while holding a conversation with your doctor or other specialist will help you to relate to what they are saying and make more informed decisions about how to proceed.

Below are some of the most common terms used when describing, diagnosing, or treating mesothelioma.

List in Alphabetical Order.

1.  Actinolite

A form of asbestos consisting of iron silicate, magnesium, and calcium. This type of asbestos is not used commercially.

2.  Amosite

Another form of asbestos which is light gray to pale brown in coloration and is commonly used commercially.

3.  Amphibole

A type or group of asbestos known for forming crystals in a chain-like pattern.

4.  Asbestos

A natural mineral that is commonly used in construction materials or similar products due to its high level of heat resistance and durability. It is a fibrous silicate mineral, and exposure to asbestos over an extended period can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis.

5.  Asbestos Abatement

The act of removing asbestos infected materials from a building or structure. This is performed by a licensed contractor for maximum safety.

6 Asbestosis

A serious health condition in which there is scar tissue present in the lungs because of inhaling asbestos dust and fibers.


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7 Carcinogenic

An adjective describing a carcinogen, or a cancer-causing agent.

8.  Carcinoma

Tissue that is diagnosed malignant. This is normally a tumor.

9.  Crocidolite

A type of asbestos often called "blue asbestos."

10.  Epidemiology

Statistics of diseases and their causes among a population.

11.  Invasive Cancer

A cancer that spreads from one point to another in the body.

12.  Mesothelioma

A rare, cancerous condition most often caused by exposure to asbestos. This is a malignant cancer tumor found in the mesothelium of the abdomen or lungs.


Tissue which forms a lining around several organs such as the abdomen, and the chest area. The fluid produced by this tissue helps to protect and mobilize organs.


Also known as fibrosis of the lungs, where the lungs have been scarred due to frequent inhalation of asbestos.

15Serpentine Asbestos

A type of asbestos which has curly fibers that are of a tiered structure. The most used form of asbestos in the U.S., called "Chrysotile", is a type of serpentine asbestos.

16.  Tremolite

A type of asbestos which has flexible fibers.


These are terms you will most likely hear when discussing asbestos or mesothelioma with a physician.

Becoming familiar with these common terms and their meanings will help you to have a better understanding of mesothelioma and its causes and treatments.

About the Author

She writes professional content for a variety of subjects and has a Business/Retail Certificate Diploma from King's College.

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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.

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