There are mainly four types of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can be classified based on the location where the tumor originates. In another classification, the cell type is considered as the criteria. According to this, there are three types of mesothelioma. So let’s see in detail about these classifications and each type of disease.
The treatment methods to be undertaken would be determined by the type of mesothelioma a patient has. So these classifications, even though just names, are of utmost importance to a professional doctor.
Mesothelioma Classification Based on Location
Mesothelioma develops or originates in certain soft tissues of the body (called the mesothelium). These are positioned in certain specific places, such as the chest portion or around the lungs, or the abdomen portion. The primary classification of mesothelioma is based on which this mesothelium is first affected at the starting stages. So now, let us see the different types of mesothelioma based on the location of the disease inside the body.
The inner lining of the lungs is known as the pleura, and this is where this type of mesothelioma is developed. This is the most common form of the disease comprising about 80 percent presently. This mesothelioma type is hard to detect as it shows only very light symptoms in its first two stages. However, the 3rdand 4th stages are hell for the patient. The life expectancy of patients affected by this type is very short (17 months), showing how deadly it is.
In this type of mesothelioma, it is the lining of the abdomen that is affected. From there, the tumor quickly spreads to surrounding organs such as the liver and bowel. The symptoms shown are abdominal pain and occasional discomforts caused by the excessive fluid in the stomach. The prognosis of peritoneal mesothelioma was very poor but has improved somewhat over the past decade or so. New treatment methods have been developed (like HIPEC), which changed the course of treatment considerably. However, the success of these treatment methods is not predictable.
This type of mesothelioma originates in the lining of the heart itself. Thankfully, such cases are extremely rare, with only 1 percent of patients reported with it. As the disease develops into its superior stages, the heart is weakened, and its ability to carry oxygen to different body parts also decrease. The symptoms associated with pericardial mesothelioma are chest pains, heart attacks, or feel of breath shortage. However, in most cases, it takes an autopsy to detect the presence of this disease type.
This type of mesothelioma is the rarest of all of them. With only about 100 cases reported globally, we have little knowledge of the disease. Some research and studies are being conducted to understand how they develop and what would be a treatment method that can be used for the same.
Mesothelioma Classification Based on Cell Type
- Epithelioid: constituting about 75 percent of the total cases, this is the most common of these three types. This type of cancer cells is related mainly to lung cancer. This type is the type of mesothelioma with the best prognosis as well.
- Sarcomatoid: This type of mesothelioma is far less common and would account for about ten percent of the total cases. This type is characterized by mesothelioma cells growing out of support structures such as bones or muscles. They occur in different cell types and are thus difficult to treat than the latter.
- Biphasic: Biphasic, as the name suggests, is a combination of the above two types of mesothelioma. This would take up about 40 percent of the total cases and is thus important. Even though both epithelioid and sarcomatoid coexist in a single human body, they occur in separate parts. The prognosis of this type of mesothelioma lies in between that of epithelioid and sarcomatoid.
Mesothelioma Classification Based on Malignancy
The last classification can be made based on how malignant or dangerous the cancer is. In light of this, there are two important classifications, namely, malignant and benign.
Malignant: In most cases, mesothelioma is malignant, i.e., deadly or fatal. The detection is not easy as it has a long latency period. However, with a proper treatment life expectancy of the patients can be improved.
Benign: This type is much rarer when compared to the latter. This type is also more treatable, and in most cases, cent percent success it attained.