If you could have mesothelioma, you may know that there are four general areas where mesothelioma may affect you. Each of these areas has its own diagnostic term. For example, pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects tissues in the abdomen. Testicular mesothelioma affects the testes, and pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart.
Looking further into this disease, there are five histological types of mesothelioma. This means that there are three different cell types that may influence the way the mesothelioma tumor behaves and reacts to the treatment selected.
Knowing the histological type may greatly impact your treatment options.
The 5 histological types of mesothelioma
The 5 types of mesothelioma cells include:
- Epithelial mesothelioma, which is the most common kind of mesothelioma. This is also the form that is the most receptive to treatment
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma, which is a challenging cell type because it divides and spreads rapidly
- Biphasic mesothelioma. Also known as mixed mesothelioma, it contains epithelial and sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells
- Papillary mesothelioma, which is a rare subset of epithelial cell mesothelioma. This kind has a good prognosis compared to other forms
- Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the pleural lining of the lungs due to inhaling asbestos in most cases
Each kind of mesothelioma may have its own signs and symptoms as well as treatment options. While someone with sarcomatoid mesothelioma may require rapid treatment or treatments that are more invasive, someone with papillary mesothelioma may have more time to try alternatives or to look into the removal of a tumor before it grows out of control.
Each type of mesothelioma is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, though mesothelioma can come on because of other causes as well.
Look for symptoms if you think you may have mesothelioma
The sooner you identify your symptoms, the better. Here are some common symptoms to talk about with your doctor:
- Persistent coughing
- Weight loss
- Coughing up blood
- Fatigue and weakness
- Decreased appetite
- A feeling of fullness
With an early diagnosis, you may be in a better position while seeking treatment. Remember, you may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim for any treatment you need if your exposure to asbestos occurred on the job.