Mesothelioma is a type of preventable cancer that is caused by inhaling the dust or particles of the deadly mineral Asbestos. The symptoms range from shortness of breath, chest pains, and persistent cough in the early stages to abdominal pain, swelling and tumors growing in the tissues that surround the heart and if left untreated could cause death within 24 months. It has a long latency period in that the symptoms of the disease can take many years to manifest, making both diagnosis and effective treatment very difficult. Therefore, people who worked with asbestos industry perhaps thirty or forty years ago are only now being diagnosed with this disease. Many employers and manufacturers knew about the dangers of asbestos when they exposed employees to this material, but deliberately kept quiet and as the effects of this exposure are coming to light, these companies are being forced to pay out millions to sufferers.