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Mesothelioma (benign-fibrous)


Benign mesothelioma is a noncancerous tumor of the lining of the lung and chest cavity, an area called the pleura.

See also: Malignant mesothelioma

Alternative Names

Mesothelioma - benign; Mesothelioma - fibrous; Localized fibrous tumor of the pleura; Pleural fibroma

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Nonmalignant mesothelioma affects men more frequently than women.


Approximately half of persons with this disease are asymptomatic, which means they do not show any symptoms.

If the tumor grows to a large size and pushes on the lung, it can lead to shortness of breath.

Other symptoms include:

Signs and tests

During a physical examination, the health care provider may notice a clubbed appearance of the fingers. The tumor is usually found by accident when a chest x-ray is done for other reasons.

Other tests that may show benign mesothelioma include:


Treatment is usually needed to remove the tumor.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is expected to be good with prompt treatment. The condition may return in about 1 out of 10 cases. It may reoccur as long as 10 years later.


Pleural effusion (fluid escaping into the membranes around the lungs) is a complication.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you notice symptoms of mesothelioma.


Broaddus VC, Robinson BWS. Tumors of the pleura. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel’sTextbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 75.

Celli BR. Diseases of the diaphragm, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 100.

Review Date: 9/15/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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