What is Mesothelioma? Expert Summary

Article update 28/05/2022

Mesothelioma, also comprehended as malignant mesothelioma, is a type of cancer. Mesothelioma is asbestos-related cancer. It usually develops in the linings of the lungs or the abdomen. The lining of the abdomen, and less frequently the sac enclosing the heart or the sac surrounding the testis, may be affected. Most instances are diagnosed in adults aged 60 to 80, with men being affected more frequently than women.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma is rarely curable, though treatment can help manage symptoms.

Asbestos exposure is responsible for most mesothelioma cases (above 80%). The larger the danger, the greater the exposure. As of 2021, around 127 million people in the world had been exposed to asbestos at work. 

People who mine asbestos, manufacture asbestos goods, work with asbestos products, live with asbestos workers, or work in buildings containing asbestos has a higher risk of disease.

What is Mesothelioma
What is Mesothelioma

What is the Main Cause for Mesothelioma Cancer?

Adenocarcinoma is a variety of cancer that starts in the glandular cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, most lung, prostate, colon, pancreas, and breast cancers are adenocarcinomas. Asbestos fiber inhalation can result in adenocarcinoma of the lungs.

What is the Most Common Age of Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

It is over 65 years old, and the patient count in the United States is around 3000 per year. The total number of patients in the world per year easily reaches 50,000.

What are the Different Types of Mesothelioma Cancer?

Malignant mesothelioma is classified into three histological subtypes: epithelioid, sarcomatous, and biphasic. Epithelioid and biphasic mesothelioma accounts for 75-95 percent of mesotheliomas and has been widely studied histologically.


Epithelial cells are one of four types of tissues found in the human body. Epithelial tissue can be found on the skin’s surface, in the linings of hollow organs and blood vessels, and in the linings of interior cavities.

Epithelial cells can alter and become malignant when exposed to asbestos fibers. This is the most frequent form of the disease (epithelioid mesothelioma). The cell type is detected in approximately 70 – 80 percent of mesothelioma cancer patients.


Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is also known as spindle cell or sarcomatous mesothelioma due to the oblong, spindly shape of sarcomatoid cells.

Malignant sarcomatoid cells are more aggressive than other forms of mesothelioma cells. This kind of mesothelioma cancer is more difficult to detect and treat. Sarcomatoid cells seem similar to healthy cells and are commonly misdiagnosed.

What are the Types of Mesothelioma Cancer


Biphasic mesothelioma cancer accounts for 10–20% of all cases. Biphasic mesothelioma is characterized by the presence of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. Biphasic mesothelioma is any mesothelioma with at least 10% epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells.

Biphasic mesothelioma is most commonly found in the pleura (lung linings) or peritoneum (abdominal linings). On the other hand, Biphasic mesothelioma tumors might develop in the pericardium (heart linings) or tunica vaginalis (testes).

There are a few more unusual subtypes. Other mesothelioma morphological subgroups have been identified.

Clear cell, Deciduoid, Desmoplastic, Lymphohistiocytic, Mucohyaline,Adenomatoid, Glandular, Mucohyaline, Cartilaginous, and Oseous Metaplasia

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma differ based on the location of the cancer.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, can produce the following signs and symptoms:

Unknown cause of weight loss

Breathing difficulty

Unusual tissue lumps under your skin on your chest

Chest pains

Coughing that hurts

Pericardial mesothelioma, The pericardium is the mesothelial membrane surrounding and protecting the heart.

Unknown cause of weight loss

Breathing difficulty

Chest pains

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which develops in abdominal tissue, can produce the following signs and symptoms:

Rapid weight loss

Swelling in the abdomen


Pain in the abdomen

Can Mesothelioma be Inherited?

Malignant mesothelioma is not inherited and is not communicable.

How Can Mesothelioma Be Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma can be suspected using imaging but only confirmed with a biopsy. Other pleural and pulmonary malignancies, such as reactive pleural illness, primary lung carcinoma, pleural metastases of other cancers, and other primary pleural cancers, must be clinically and histologically distinguished. Primary pericardial mesothelioma is frequently discovered after it has spread to lymph nodes or the lungs.

How can you Diagnosis Mesothelioma

What are the Mesothelioma Treatments?

Chemo is the primary treatment for mesothelioma, and it entails using medicine to help decrease the cancer.

Surgery if mesothelioma is diagnosed early, an operation to remove the malignant area can be performed; however, it is unclear whether surgery is beneficial.

What are the Treatments for Mesothelioma

Radiotherapy entails utilizing high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells; it may be used to delay or control cancer.

Immunotherapy and gene therapy are new forms of treatment; however, they are still in their early stages.

Can You Permanently Cure Mesothelioma Cancer?

No, it does not. As of 2022, no lasting cure for mesothelioma had been discovered. The majority of mesothelioma patients have a life expectancy of 10-12 months after diagnosis.

So, don’t You Find any Survivors from Mesothelioma?

You find people who live for more than 15- 20 years after getting proper treatments,  it is rare, but not all hope is lost if you are diagnosed.

Is Mesothelioma Always Malignant? Do Patients Have a Chance?

Unfortunately, the majority of mesothelioma cases are fatal. However, benign (or noncancerous) tumors can form in the tissue lining of the mesothelium. These tumors, however, are not caused by asbestos exposure and can be removed with a favorable prognosis for the patient.

Is Mesothelioma Always Malignant Do Patients have Hope

Is it Possible to Misdiagnose Mesothelioma?

Because mesothelioma is uncommon cancer type, doctors may not identify symptoms right away. Patients may be diagnosed with pneumonia or other lung diseases. It is critical to share your asbestos exposure history with your doctor.








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