Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the inner lining of lungs or abdomen. If developed in the lining of the lungs it is called pleural mesothelioma and if developed in the inner lining of abdomen it is called peritoneal mesothelioma. It is a very rare kind of cancer and till now there is no known cure for this kind of cancer.
Different types of mesothelioma
There are two main ways to classify mesothelioma. The first way is the location where the cancer tumors are located and the second is by the cell morphology and its structure.
Different types by location of tumors
Mesothelioma develops in the inner lining of different organs. Depending on that the mesothelioma can be categorized into three different types
- Pleural mesothelioma
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Pericardial mesothelioma
It develops in the inner lining of lungs and is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers.
It develops in the lining of the abdomen. It is caused when the asbestos fibers get trapped in the lining of the abdomen.
When in the rarest of rare cases the asbestos fibers get trapped in the pericardium i.e. the lining around the heart cavity, pericardial mesothelioma is caused.
Mesothelioma by cell morphology or by structure of cells
Mesothelioma can also be classified by its cell structure. Based on this there are following types of mesothelioma. The cell type is studied by a process called histology, a process that involves microscopic examination of the tissue extracted by biopsy of the tumor.
- Epithelioid Mesothelioma
- Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma
- Biphasic Mesothelioma
- Other cell types
This is the most common type of mesothelioma according to the cell structure. The cell structure is elongated and all the cells are of similar shape and size.
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is not so common and is mostly resistant to all the different types of treatments of mesothelioma.
This type of mesothelioma cells show the structure and morphology of both Epithelioid and Sarcomatoid mesothelioma and exhibit characteristics of both of them.
Other cell types
This type of mesothelioma includes the types where variation in the cell morphology of both Epithelioid and Sarcomatoid mesothelioma exist. For example, demoplastic type that is a variation of Sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells and deciduoid type that is a variation of epithelioid mesothelioma cells.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The symptoms of Mesothelioma are very common and also look like symptoms of other diseases. These symptoms include
- Trouble breathing or chest pain
- Effusion (fluid buildup) in the lungs or the abdomen cavity
- Anemia especially in women
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
As a result of such common symptoms doctors often face difficulty diagnosing Mesothelioma.
Stages of Mesothelioma
Depending on the spreading of the tumors and other factors the oncologists have divided mesothelioma into four stages
The tumor has not spread and is located at the area of its origin
The tumor has spread from its area of origin, but, has spread to nearby area and lymph nodes.
The tumor has spread to various nearby areas and to the lymph nodes
At this stage the tumor has spread to multiple areas and through the lymphatic system has spread to other important organs of the body.