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Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare cancer caused by asbestos. More than 100,000 Americans have died from mesothelioma in the past 30 years, including more than 30,000 U.S. veterans. VA benefits are available for veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma, including disability and VA health care.


What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium — the thin layer of tissue that covers most internal organs. It is typically caused when asbestos fibers become stuck in the linings of major organs.

Mesothelioma can develop in the linings of the:

  • Abdomen (peritoneum)

  • Heart (pericardium)

  • Lungs (pleura)

  • Testicles (tunica vaginalis)

Most mesothelioma cases are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread and mild symptoms have worsened. Fortunately, multiple treatment options are available.

How Is Mesothelioma Treated?

Patients can access different treatments for mesothelioma based on factors like the location of tumors, their general health, and cancer spread.

Mesothelioma treatments are used to:

  • Destroy, shrink, and remove cancer tumors

  • Help patients live longer

  • Reduce painful mesothelioma symptoms

Your doctor will help you create the best treatment plan for your goals and needs. Without treatment, this cancer can quickly be fatal.


Veterans With Mesothelioma and VA Benefits

Due to the military’s widespread use of asbestos between the 1930s and early 1980s, veterans today have higher rates of mesothelioma than the general public.



Once widely used to build and repair military bases, vehicles, and ships, asbestos is now known to cause deadly diseases like mesothelioma. Makers of asbestos-based products knew these dangers for decades but hid the truth from the military and the public.

By the time the risks came to light in the early 1980s, thousands of service members had been exposed. Mesothelioma doesn’t appear until 10-50 years after asbestos exposure, so veterans that served decades ago are at risk today.

Fortunately, if you’re a veteran with mesothelioma, you may qualify for financial and medical benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We can help you access VA benefits right now.

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