Survivors Book

Malignant Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can cause cancerous tumors as a result of asbestos exposure. These tumors form in the mesothelium, a thin protective membrane that surrounds your organs, after asbestos fibers are lodged there. The tumors may be located in the lining of the lungs, the abdominal cavity, and the heart.

Epithelial And Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma also is classified by the types of cancer cells. Epithelial mesothelioma is named for small, tube-like cells that cover internal surfaces of the body. It is the most common type of malignant mesothelioma, accounting for 50 to 70 percent of cases. Epithelial mesothelioma has the best prognosis of all forms of malignant mesothelioma.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is named for its irregularly shaped, oval connective tissue cells. It is the least common type of mesothelioma, representing only 10 to 20 percent of cases.

Biphasic mesothelioma is a combination of epithelial and sarcomatoid mesothelioma. It occurs in about 20 to 40 percent of all diagnosed cases, making it the second most common type of mesothelioma.

Who is at Risk?

Mostly likely to develop malignant mesothelioma are American industrial workers and their families, who were regularly exposed to asbestos from the 1700s through the 1970s. Because asbestos is a natural fiber that is small, heat resistant, and strong, its uses were versatile. The fiber was used in insulation, paints, and fire-retardant materials. Consequently, the potential for exposure was high.

Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment

After seeing your doctor to determine the type and stage of malignant mesothelioma, you two can design a specific treatment plan. Surgery can be an option if the cancer is in early stages and you are in otherwise good health. Radiation and chemotherapy often work, too. For patients in later stages, treatment may be used to ease discomfort.

Of the cancer types, epithelial mesothelioma responds best to treatment overall. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is considered the most aggressive form of mesothelioma and the least-responsive to treatment. As a result, unfortunately, the prognosis for this type is not as favorable as others. Biphasic mesothelioma can be aggressive, too, especially if you have a high percentage of sarcomatoid cells exists. Like sarcomatoid mestothelioma, the prognosis is generally not as favorable. However, lots of research and testing is still being done to better your chances, so please talk to your doctor.

Survival Rate

To receive the best treatment options and to improve your survival rate, it is very important to have regular screenings. You also must alert your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos at any time during your life. It is vital that you seek a qualified doctor and cancer center if you suspect you have malignant mesothelioma. can help you locate specialists so that you get the best care available and raise your survival rate. Fill out our form for a free mesothelioma packet that contains additional information.

Last Edited: Sun July 26, 2020