Overview of the Different Types of Mesothelioma

According to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, there are four types of mesothelioma that can come about as a result of exposure to asbestos:

 

Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)

Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, which is called the pleura. As the most common form of the disease, pleural mesothelioma accounts for approximately 80% of new cases. It’s also the most well-known and best studied of the types due to being so prolific. It is also the type that has the potential to kill extremely fast once it has become severe.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a variety of the disease that originates in the lining of the abdomen. It often spreads to abdominal organs which include the liver, spleen, kidney, bladder, and bowel. Severe abdominal pain is the most common symptom as are fluid buildup, swelling, ulcers, digestion issue, and internal bleeding when it gets to an advanced stage.

Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)

Pericardial mesothelioma, attacks the lining of the heart cavity known as he pericardium. This variety is a fairly uncommon type of mesothelioma – accounting for less than 1% of all cases. As this rare cancer progresses, the heart weakens and cannot pump effectively which causes oxygen deprivation throughout the body and causes a rapid decline in overall health.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma is still a largely misunderstood variety of the disease as it is an extremely rare form of the disease. It is believed that fewer than 100 cases having been diagnosed around the world. Because there are so few incidents of this type of mesothelioma, little is known about it, how it progresses, all of the symptoms, or how to treat it.

Types of Mesothelioma Cells

Like all cancers, there are different types of cellular structures that can occur with the cancer. These three cell types can be found in any of the four types of mesothelioma:

Epithelioid Epithelioid cells are the most common cell type in cases of mesothelioma. Patients diagnosed with an epithelioid cell type generally have the best life expectancy. It is the most treatable.
Sarcomatoid Sarcomatoid cells are the least common cell type. Sarcomatoid cells spread more quickly than epithelioid cells. This results in a shorter life expectancy and fewer treatment options.
Biphasic  Biphasic cell types are those which have both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells present. The life expectancy of the patient is better if there are more epithelioid cells and worse if there are more sarcomatoid.

 

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