Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is a distinct category of malignant mesothelioma. The term sarcomatoid describes sarcoma cells, a type of cell characterized by connective tissue shaped like irregular ovals. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common of the three cellular types of mesothelioma, as they account for only 10 to 20 percent of cases.
Causes and Symptoms
In almost all mesothelioma cases, the cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was a common construction material. The resulting symptoms of sarcomatoid mesothelioma often do not present until decades after exposure and include fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains. Because these symptoms do not specifically point to the disease, chest x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans will assist a doctor in an initial diagnosis.
Biopsies for Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma
As with other forms of mesothelioma, following those tests, your doctor will order a biopsy. This minor surgical procedure is recommended because sarcomatoid mesothelioma can often be misdiagnosed as other types of cancers, such as fibrasarcomas or pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma. Because treatment plans are very specific to types of cancers, and an accurate diagnosis is key to appropriate treatment.
Prognosis and Treatment
Since sarcomatoid mesothelioma is considered the most aggressive form of mesothelioma and the least responsive to treatment, determining a prognosis is not easy. This is especially the case when you are diagnosed in the later stages. However, even when the condition is discovered in then, treatments are available that can greatly improve your health and lifestyle. Some doctors recommend surgery at that point to lessen any pain. However, when caught early, you may be eligible for radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and curative surgery. When you are otherwise healthy, this is likely the case.
Talk to your doctor — and us — now
If you suspect you have sarcomatoid mesothelioma or have been diagnosed with the condition, talk to your doctor right away about your options. Alerting him or her of asbestos exposure will help your doctor order the appropriate tests. If you would like more information on sarcomatoid mesothelioma and help with these options, please contact us.