Mesothelioma is a cancer that is a result of asbestos exposure. Pleural (also referred to as ‘pleura’) Mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. When the cancer develops in other cavities and organ linings of a persons’ body, it is then referred to as another form of mesothelioma; usually named by the type of organ cavity or lining it affects. However, Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer affecting nearly 75% or more of all Mesothelioma patients.
About the Pleural
The pleural layers consists of two individual layers each providing protection for the lungs and chest cavity, in their own unique manner. These linings also support the lungs within the cavity of the chest.
The Parietal Layer is the outer most layer of the pleura cavity and is held to the chest wall and to the diaphragm by connective tissue (one of the most important forms of connective tissues in the human body) and is also connected to the pericardium, which is the fluid filled sac that protects and supports the heart in chest cavity. Essentially, the Parietal Pleura is connected to the thoracic cavity and stimulated by the intercostal nerves (the anterior (frontal) part of the thoracic spinal nerves from T1 to T11.) [These are the spinal nerves that emerge from the thoracic spinal nerves.]
The inner layer, referred to as the Visceral (or ‘pulmonary’) Pleura Layer covers the actual surface of the lungs closely and is connected to the entire surface of the lungs. This layer of the pleura is somewhat moist and gives the lungs a soft and smooth surface to allow for free movement within the outer layer (The Parietal lining).
Linking the Parietal and the Visceral Layers is the intrapleural space.
The intrapleural space is an area containing fluids that are provided by membranes. These fluids permit the parietal and visceral layers to move against each other during respiration as the lungs inflate and deflate, continuously.