Cellular Subtypes of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, deadly type of cancer that attacks the various linings of the body, including those of the peritoneal, pericardial, and pleural cavities. Although this cancer can arise naturally, it is primarily caused by exposure to the carcinogen asbestos.
The problem with asbestos exposure is that our bodies are unable to break down asbestos fibers. Thus, when asbestos flakes off into microscopic shards, they can become lodged in your body via inhalation or ingestion. From here, they can mutate the cells, causing the signature uncontrollable growth of cancerous tumors.
Different Mesothelioma Tissue Types
If you take a sample of one of these tumors, you can see that there are different cell types that make up mesothelioma. These subtypes are:
- Epithelioid – the most common form, epithelioid mesothelioma is the least aggressive type
- Sarcomatoid – the least common type, sarcomatoid cells tend to be very aggressive
- Biphasic – a mix of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cell types
Of course, when doctors are formulating a treatment plan, they will probably look at the cancerous cell subtype(s) to determine how aggressive they need to be in treating you. Oncologists will also look at the spread of the cancer and lymph node involvement.
Whether your mesothelioma is highly aggressive or only slightly aggressive, it can still be deadly and hard to treat. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you deserve accurate, easy-to-understand information in order to help you in the battle ahead.
For more information regarding asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, contact the Asbestos and Mesothelioma Help Center by filling out the contact form at the top right corner of the page.