Epithelioid Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by epithelial cell mutations because of asbestos exposure. About 70 percent of mesothelioma cases are caused by the epithelial cell type. It has a much better prognosis than other cell types because epithelial cell types are less aggressive and don't spread as quickly as others.
It is not uncommon for the cells within mesothelioma cancer tumors to vary depending on the patient. If your tumor is primarily formed of epithelioid cells, you may respond much better to treatment.
Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common disease caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma develops within the mesothelium, which is a lining of several body cavities composed of epithelial cells. When these epithelial cells turn cancerous, they are altered at a genetic level and take on patterns called epithelioid, biphasic or sarcomatoid.
Whichever the case, we advise you to contact us and seek legal advice, as epithelioid mesothelioma usually affects people who worked in asbestos environments.
Diagnosing Epithelioid Mesothelioma
A surgical biopsy is needed to determine which cell type is present in the body because epithelioid cells cannot be identified using diagnostic imaging scans. Doctors usually need to perform medical thoracoscopies, (a medical procedure of internal examination, biopsy and/or removal of disease or masses) or other similar procedures. A tissue sample from the tumor is then extracted for doctors to examine under a high-powered microscope, allowing them to examine the cancerous cells.
Epithelioid mesothelioma shares many similarities with other types of cancer, which is why extensive testing is essential. Epithelioid mesothelioma can often be confused with adenocarcinoma, which is a common form of lung, colon, and breast cancer.
Immunohistochemistry is a process used to detect proteins called antibodies on the surface of cells. These proteins are analyzed examined to classify a cancer's cell type. Pathologists employ use immunohistochemistry to identify epithelioid mesothelioma cancer and differentiate it from adenocarcinoma cancer.
Epithelioid Mesothelioma Treatments
Aggressive treatment plans are considered for patients with this type of mesothelioma because it responds much better to treatment than other types. If the cancer is found before it started spreading throughout the chest cavity, epithelioid mesothelioma patients are eligible for multimodal therapy, which aims to destroy cancer cells using multiple treatments.
Multimodal therapy includes a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, as They are the most effective therapies for treating mesothelioma.
Not all patients qualify for aggressive treatment plans, and for more than half of them, the disease was discovered too late for them to be eligible for surgery, regardless of cell type. Chemotherapy is employed when an operation is no longer an option for them, and clinical trials are have been taken into consideration.
A multitude of clinical trials is available for epithelioid mesothelioma patients because their tumors respond best to treatment.
Epithelioid Mesothelioma Prognosis
Epithelioid mesothelioma patients have the best prognoses out of all mesothelioma victims. Life expectancy for epithelioid mesothelioma patients is about one year after the diagnosis. Patients with sarcomatoid mesothelioma have, unfortunately, about six months left to live after diagnosis.
Mesothelioma life expectancy often ranges from about 6 to 21 months. However, there are many factors that contribute to life expectancy and each patient is unique. Through treatment and healthy habits some patients are able to outlive their prognosis significantly.
If the cancer is diagnosed within an early stage of development, the life expectancy of patients goes up considerably.
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Epithelioid Cell Characteristics
Tumors are classified and differentiated by the type and appearance of the cells they are comprised of. Ordinary epithelial cells form the epithelium, which is one of the four major tissue types in the human anatomy. Those types include epithelial, muscular, connective and nervous tissue. Epithelial tissues line many of our body cavities and most of our organs.
The structure of epithelial tissue is different depending on its location and function. Epithelial cells can be thin and flat or shaped like columns, cubes or hexagons. Cancerous epithelial cells will have a few structural differences, which can be observed using medical machinery. Some of the visual patterns of epithelial cells include: epithelioid, biphasic and sarcomatoid. These affected cells usually lose uniformity and become atypical in appearance, which makes them distinguishable from healthy cells.
One of the reasons why epithelioid mesothelioma is less deadly than sarcomatoid mesothelioma is because epithelioid cells tend to adhere closer together and lack mobility, which makes them harder to spread throughout the human body. Sarcomatoid cells, on the other hand, are more loosely organized, which allows them to migrate more easily, leading to a faster onset of metastasis.
Epithelioid Cell Subtypes
Epithelioid mesothelioma has a few different subtypes, each differentiated from others with unique characteristics. Some of these subtypes are more likely to develop in specific body parts than others. The treatment is not affected by the epithelioid cell subtype, but it can help doctors tell mesothelioma apart from cancers that have similar characteristics.
Here are a few technical descriptions of the more common cell types that have been observed in cases of epithelioid mesothelioma:
The tubulopapillary cell pattern is a very common subtype of epithelioid mesothelioma. Tubulopapillary mesotheliomas often contain well-differentiated cells. This subtype can be mistaken for adenocarcinoma that has spread to the pleura.
The solid subtype consists of two patterns: Well-differentiated and poorly differentiated.
Solid well-differentiated cell patterns are very commonly observed in mesothelioma cancer. They can be mistaken for benign reactive mesothelial hyperplasia.
Solid poorly differentiated cell patterns consist of unorganized cells and have similar appearances to large cell carcinoma and lymphoma.
Adenomatoid mesothelioma is also known as the microglandular mesothelioma subtype. It is a rare occurrence, present in only 6 percent of all pleural mesothelioma cases. It is challenging for doctors to tell apart this subtype from other tumors such as metastatic pleural adenocarcinoma and benign adenomatoid tumors.
Glandular pattern tumors are composed of gland-like structures or acinar structures (cluster of cells resembling a many-lobed "berry" such as a raspberry). This subtype usually develops in the lining of the pleura and can be mistaken for pleural adenocarcinoma.
What You Can Do
Mesothelioma, in any shape or form, is a force to be reckoned with. There are a few steps to be taken to live longer with epithelioid mesothelioma cancer. Clinical trials and various treatments are available for mesothelioma victims, and palliative care a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses can manage symptoms and increase the patients quality of life.
Only one thing is for sure: mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, and legal countermeasures can be taken. As such, we urge you to contact us and find out more about your rights.
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