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Three Main Histological Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an insidious lung cancer that is directly linked to asbestos exposure. It is generally difficult to diagnose until the cancer has advanced to a critical stage. The most common histological type is epithelioid mesothelioma. Regardless of type, unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Persons exposed to airborne asbestos fibers who later become diagnosed with epithelioid, sarcomatoid or bi-phasic mesothelioma may have worked in a wide range of industries from shipyards to construction. Asbestos was not limited just to industrial use though; thousands of construction and household products contain the toxic mineral, such as shingles, siding, insulation, and even hair dryers.

Histological Types of Mesothelioma

Microscopic asbestos fibers attack the mesothelial cells inside the internal body organs, more commonly the lungs, heart, or abdominal area. Once asbestos fibers lodge in the mesothelium (the thin elastic lining around the body organs) malignant mesothelioma can develop, although symptoms do not show until at least ten years after exposure. There are three basic histological types of mesothelioma:

  • Epithelioid Mesothelioma -- This is the most common type. It is responsible for 50 to 70 percent of cases. Symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss and possible difficulty swallowing.
  • Sarcomatoid -- The sarcomatoid type more often appears in other internal organs than the lungs. Of the three types, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is least common to affect individuals exposed to airborne asbestos fibers.
  • Biphasic / Mixed Mesothelioma -- This type contains both the sarcomatoid and epithelioid mesothelioma cancer cells. Since it affects multiple areas, it is usually the easiest to diagnose. Once less common, it has recently increased from affecting only about 25 percent of cases to roughly 46 percent or more of patients diagnosed with the illness.

Types of Mesothelioma

All three types are a direct result of asbestos exposure. The exposure may have occurred early in life but due to a long latency period, symptoms of mesothelioma do not surface until ten to fifty years later. Although there are treatments to extend the survival times and improve quality of life, all mesotheliomas are incurable.

Who Bears Responsibility?

Since many individuals were not educated to the dangers, the parties who produced the asbestos and created the exposure are ultimately the responsible ones. Asbestos dangers have been known for centuries and successfully hidden and ignored for the greater pursuit of profits and wealth. Historically, both the Greeks and Romans were aware of and recorded the damaging health consequences of asbestos exposure. Though not known by the name, mesothelioma caused death even in ancient times.

Fighting mesothelioma (often referred to as 'asbestos cancer') is a costly process that can leave patients and their families financially devastated. Treatments for mesothelioma are highly specialized and may not be locally available. Travel expenses alone can become a burden to the family of one diagnosed with the mesothelioma.

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult. Often, malignant mesothelioma is confused with adenocarcinoma, a different type of non-small cell lung cancer, resulting in a misdiagnosis. Symptoms are similar and the cellular structure is confusingly close. Oncologists and doctors who specialize in mesothelioma are recommended for correct diagnosis if this type of cancer is suspected.

Likewise, symptoms of mesothelioma can be confused with other more common ailments. Without thorough testing, the patient may think they have pneumonia, asthma, flu virus, bronchitis or other more common physical problems.

How Mesothelioma Attorneys Help Victims of Mesothelioma

Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason, asbestos attorneys, file mesothelioma lawsuits on behalf of victims and their families against the asbestos corporations that were responsible for the products that caused the fatal illness. Mesothelioma attorneys can also file bankruptcy claims and gain significant financial settlements for those suffering from asbestos related illnesses. Call today for a free case evaluation 1-800-440-4262.