Understanding Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Epithelial mesothelioma, also known as epithelioid mesothelioma, is a type of cancer that affects the protective layer of cells lining the outer surface of organs, blood vessels, and cavities. This cancer is primarily caused by asbestos fibers irritating these cells. Epithelial mesothelioma is the most common of the three cell types of mesothelioma, accounting for 50% to 70% of all cases. It can develop in the lining of the lungs (pleural), abdomen (peritoneal), heart (pericardial), or testes (testicular). Patients with epithelial mesothelioma tend to have a better prognosis than those with other cell types, as epithelial cells respond better to aggressive treatment. According to Dr. Andrea Wolf of Mount Sinai Hospital, the epithelial type is more favorable and tends to respond more easily to chemotherapy.

The primary risk factor for epithelial mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers can cause tissue inflammation and DNA damage, leading to cancer development decades later. Most people diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma have worked with asbestos products long before their diagnosis. All mesothelioma cell types have a latency period of 20 to 60 years, meaning that the first symptoms may not appear until decades after the initial asbestos exposure. Symptoms of epithelioid mesothelioma include cough, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, bowel or bladder changes, chest tightness, and unexplained weight loss. These symptoms are similar across all cell types of mesothelioma, but the cell type affects which treatments are most helpful.

Diagnosing epithelial mesothelioma requires a tissue biopsy, which samples the lung tissue to confirm the cell type under a microscope. Epithelial mesothelioma cells tend to clump together in groups and are less likely to spread to other areas of the body. Blood tests are not helpful for diagnosis, but they can track treatment progress. Imaging scans can show lung abnormalities but cannot diagnose cancer on their own.

The survival rate for epithelial mesothelioma varies depending on the specific subtype. The 5-year survival rate for epithelioid pleural mesothelioma is 12%. A study on peritoneal mesothelioma showed a median survival of 55 months for patients with epithelioid cells, compared to seven to 13 months for patients with sarcomatoid or biphasic cells. Epithelioid patients live 200 days longer on average than patients with other cell types.

Treatment for epithelial mesothelioma depends on the cancer stage, tumor extent, and overall health. Early-stage cases are treated aggressively with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, while late-stage cases respond better to palliative care with immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and Tumor Treating Fields therapy. A combination of approaches is often the most effective method. Epithelial mesothelioma responds best to treatment among the three cell types. Patients are encouraged to seek a second opinion at a top cancer center, where specialists have the experience to diagnose and treat epithelioid mesothelioma effectively.

Here at the Halpern Law Firm, we are here for victims of mesothelioma. We want to make sure that all victims of mesothelioma get the compensation they deserve. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are interested in receiving compensation, call 800-505-6000 for a free case evaluation today. We are available 24/7.


Written By Jeff Nelson

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