One of the diseases caused by asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma. It is a cancer of the pleura (the membrane between the lungs and the ribs) or of lining of the heart or the lining of abdominal organs. The only known cause in the United States is exposure to asbestos dust. It can have a long latency period, where the exposure was in the 1950's, 1960s or 1970s but the diagnosis might not be made until, say, 2015. The next sentence sounds like lawyer pressure - sorry! - but a person diagnosed with mesothelioma should contact a lawyer right away so the lawyer may take the necessary legal steps to protect the rights of the victim in the immediate days or weeks after the diagnosis.