Epithelial mesothelioma is a specific type of malignant mesothelioma cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Epithelial refers to the type of cell involved in the cancer: the epithelium, or small, tube-like cells that cover the internal surfaces of the body. Unlike sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma, epithelial mesothelioma accounts for 50 to 70 percent of all malignant mesothelioma cases. It has a rather positive prognosis, given the amount of research currently being done to find effective forms of treatment.
Epithelial Mesothelioma Symptoms
Early symptoms may include chest pains, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. However, symptoms alone are not specific enough to diagnose epithelial mesothelioma, as these symptoms are common with other health problems, too. For that reason, if you experience these symptoms, tell your doctor right away, especially if you have been exposed to asbestos.
Epithelial Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Your doctor will examine you and perform a series of tests — such as chest x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans — to see if you have epithelial mesothelioma. In addition, a doctor will probably remove a piece of the tissue through a surgical biopsy for further testing. This step is vital because epithelial cells are easily confused with other forms of cancer, such as adenocarcinoma.
Once the cancer is diagnosed as epithelial mesothelioma, your treatment will likely include radiation and chemotherapy. When diagnosed early, surgery may help remove the cancerous tissue. Because epithelial mesothelioma responds best to treatment overall, a more hopeful and aggressive treatment plan may be advised to send the cancer into remission. Treatment intended to ease pain and ease discomfort may be ordered as well.
Prognosis and Survival Rate
The prognosis is best for those who detect epithelial mesothelioma in Stage I or Stage II, before it has spread to other parts of the body. Your overall health further improves your prognosis. Generally, the healthier you are, the better you may respond to treatment.
We Can Provide You With Further Assistance
If you have been diagnosed with epithelial mesothelioma or you believe you are at high risk for the disease, do not wait to start regular screenings. Talk to your doctor now. If you would like more information, please contact us. We would be more than happy to help.