Types of Mesothelioma

Types of Mesothelioma

Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the mesothelium, or the lining of the body’s organs and structures, usually in the lungs and chest wall.

This cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos. The body cannot break down asbestos fibers, so they become lodged in the mesothelium, causing scarring, inflammation, pain, and, eventually, cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma can take from 20 to 50 years to develop after exposure. Diagnosis is often delayed until a person has symptoms, and the condition is more advanced.

There are several types of mesothelioma, which are differentiated by where cancer starts and the cell types. Each type may have different symptoms, treatments, and prognosis.

  1. Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common mesothelioma; 70 to 75 percent of cases originated in the pleural lining of the lungs and chest.

Cells types:

      • 50 percent of pleural mesotheliomas are epithelioid, which are sheet-like cells that are less aggressive and don’t spread as quickly as other cell diseases.
      • 20 percent of pleural tumors are sarcomatoid, which are spindly cells, and the most aggressive and challenging to treat.
      • 30 percent of pleural tumors are biphasic, a blended form of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. The ratio of epithelial and sarcomatoid cells will determine how aggressive this mesothelioma type is during diagnosis.

Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pain, weight loss, fever, and fatigue. Fluid may accumulate in the chest.

Treatments: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy

Prognosis:  Three or more years at Stage 1. 12 months at Stage 4.

  1. Peritoneal Mesothelioma occurs in about 10 to 20 percent of patients and originates in the lining of the abdomen.

Cell types:

      • 75 percent of peritoneal tumors are epithelioid.
      • 25 percent of peritoneal tumors are biphasic.,

Symptoms: Abdominal pain and swelling, bloating, loss of appetite and bowel changes, nausea.

Treatment: Surgery, heated chemotherapy

Prognosis: 52 percent live 5-plus years after surgery and heated chemotherapy.

  1. Pericardial Mesothelioma has only been reported in 200 cases and is extremely rare. This type of mesothelioma is a tumor that originates in the lining of the heart.

Cell types:

      • 35 percent of pleural mesotheliomas are epithelioid
      • 35 percent of pleural tumors are sarcomatoid.
      • 30 percent of pleural tumors are biphasic.

Symptoms: Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and cough.

Treatment: Surgery

Prognosis: With surgery, some patients live for years beyond the average six-month life expectancy.

  1. Testicular Mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma. It has been reported in less than 100 cases. This type of mesothelioma originates in the lining covering the testes

Cell types:

      • 75 percent of pleural mesotheliomas are epithelioid
      • 25 percent of pleural tumors are biphasic.

Symptoms: Scrotal swelling, painless testicular lumps

Treatment: Surgery and chemotherapy

Prognosis: Two years

Patent outcomes are dependent on many factors such as early diagnosis, the cell types affected, the treatment plan, and the patient’s health before the disease.

We have represented thousands of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis victims. Because of our involvement in asbestos litigation from the beginning, our Pittsburgh mesothelioma lawyers have a clear understanding of what is required to succeed, especially in mesothelioma lawsuits. Contact us today!

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “Mesothelioma types” [link]
NYU Langone Health, “Types of Malignant Mesothelioma” [link]
Snehal Smart, MD, “Mesothelioma Types by Location” (August 27, 2020). [link]

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