Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the linings of the abdomen. Mesothelioma almost never occurs without exposure to asbestos, a once-popular material used in everything from insulation to car brake pads.
There are several different ways to categorize mesothelioma. First, doctors typically characterize the disease based on where it starts, such as the lungs, abdominal cavity, chest cavity, etc. However, it is also important for doctors to analyze the type of the cancer. Cancer cells come in several different forms that can help predict the severity of the disease. One of the most aggressive forms of mesothelioma is sarcomatoid.
Identifying Sarcomatoid Cells
While epithelioid cancer cells are very regular in appearance, sarcomatoid is less so. They tend to form irregular oval shapes, and their nuclei are more difficult to distinguish. Also, sarcomatoid cells are generally more aggressive than epithelioid, which can make it difficult to treat. Thankfully, it tends to only affect 10-15% of people who suffer from mesothelioma.
Like most cancers, doctors turn to a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to treat sarcomatoid mesothelioma. However, because this is a fairly new type of cancer, there are few medications that target this specific cancer. Thus, some people choose to participate in clinical studies that focus on specific mesothelioma treatment.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it can mark the beginning of a long and difficult process. For more information regarding this type of cancer, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help page today.