Mesothelioma is an aggressive, incurable form of cancer caused by ongoing exposure to asbestos. Although it can be decades before a patient exhibits any symptoms, once they surface, the average survival rate is 18 months following an initial diagnosis. The most common form is Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM), which occurs when a tumor develops in the pleura (a thin, translucent organ that surrounds and protects the lungs). The tumor destroys the pleura, crushing the lungs and causing fluid to build up. This process typically burdens the patient with great pain, shortness of breath, and a cough.