Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs. The disease is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, and most commonly affects the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall). Asbestos was once widely used in construction, particularly as insulation, but its use is now severely restricted.
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