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Home >  Mesothelioma types > Cellular types of mesothelioma

Cellular types of mesothelioma

There are three types of mesothelioma - epithelial, sarcoma, and biphasic. Out of the various types of mesothelioma, the epithelial type (referred to as epithelioid mesothelioma) is the least aggressive tumor to handle. More than half of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have the epithelial type. This type can have the best prognosis, for its tumor has slower growth and is more likely to respond to radical treatments and therapies.

Accounting for approximately 50-70% of all mesothelioma cancer cells, epithelioid mesothelioma's commonality in the histological category leads many specialists to efficiently recognize its unique, uniform cellular structure. When magnified, epithelioid cells have a distinct cell nucleus with a tubular pattern. Notably enough, other types of cancer have also been known to take on a similar appearance to epithelioid cells. When such cancers occur in the mesothelium, there is the potential danger for misdiagnosis of the type of tumor and should be regarded with caution and scrupulousness. For example, epithelioid mesothelioma could be misdiagnosed for adenocarcinoma (which is linked to smoking) because of its similar tubular shape when magnified.

Epithelioid mesothelioma is diagnosed with a biopsy, which is a minor diagnostic surgery where a section of questionable tissue is removed for examination by a histopathologist. Determination of the type of tumor is made after the sample is tested for certain qualities indicative of a tumor.

A more severe type of tumor, the sarcoma, has a worse prognosis and can often be pragmatically strenuous to the patient's body and mind during treatment. 7-20% of all patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have sarcoma.

The third type of mesothelioma is a biphasic mix of both epithelial and sarcomatous cellular types. The biphasic accounts for 20-35% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma. The cellular count for biphasic mesothelioma is approximately 46-63% of all mesothelioma cancer cells, though it has been previously accounted for only 25% of cancer cells.

Less than two thousand cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States. Though children and women are susceptible to this type of cancer, men in the mid-60s are most often affected by mesothelioma, presumably due to the circumstances of asbestos exposure in labor professions usually occupied by men. The latency period (up to twenty years after prolonged exposure), accounts for an immense increase in mesothelioma diagnoses within the past ten years.

Unlike epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma, biphasic mesothelioma does not have a tubular cellular pattern; in fact, it has no unique cellular pattern at all. The epitheloid and sarcomatoid cells can be dispersed through the body independent of one another or mixed together in one area. The prognosis for this type is transitional, as in treatment advances and tactics can enable the body to be both proactive and unreceptive to treatment, dependent on several physical and cellular factors.

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