Mesothelioma can be caused by relatively brief exposure to asbestos decades ago. Working for one summer installing drywall or asbestos-containing insulation is enough to cause mesothelioma. To develop asbestosis, exposure over a greater period of time, usually seen in years, is necessary to cause the disease.
The cancer known as malignant mesothelioma is a malignant permanent condition which, in North America, is most often associated with exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a very unique and aggressive cancer which affects the lining of the chest and sometimes the lining of the gut. The lining that develops the cancer is the protective lining that protects the lungs and chest cavity and another lining which protects the stomach and organs in your gut. These tissues become cancerous and unfortunately the disease, mesothelioma, is not only malignant but very aggressive as far as spreading.
Most people with mesothelioma had some occupational exposure to asbestos. Others developed it after secondary asbestos exposure—for example, washing clothing worn by an asbestos worker.
Below are links to information on Mesothelioma: