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What Is Mesothelioma Cancer?

What is Mesothelioma?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) defines malignant mesothelioma as a cancer of the mesothelium – the linings of certain parts of the body, most commonly the chest or abdomen. The leading cause of mesothelioma is long-term asbestos exposure. Learn more about what is mesothelioma and what is asbestos.

Categories of Mesothelioma

While many think the answer to the question “What is mesothelioma?” is simply cancer of the lungs, they are incorrect. Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of the mesothelium that can start in one of four main areas in the body. Determining which mesothelioma is affecting you is critical so doctors can treat you accordingly. The four main mesothelioma types are:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – Pleural mesothelioma is cancer of the lining in the chest cavity. This is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75 percent of all cases.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer of the lining in the abdomen. This is the second most common type of mesothelioma.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – Pericardial mesothelioma is cancer of the lining around the heart.  This type of mesothelioma is very rare.
  • Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis – This is an extremely rare type of malignant mesothelioma that starts in the lining around the testicles, which is technically part of the peritoneum.

Types of Mesothelioma

ACS classifies malignant mesothelioma into four additional types based on the arrangement of cancer cells under the microscope:

  • Epithelioid – About 50 to 60 percent of mesothelioma cases are of this type. It tends to have better prospective chances of recovery and/or severity of symptoms.
  • Sarcomatoid or Fibrous – About 10 to 20 percent of mesothelioma cases are of this type.
  • Mixed or Biphasic – These mesothelioma cases have both epithelioid and sarcomatoid tumors. They make up about 30 to 40 percent of mesothelioma cases.
  • Desmoplastic – These are small round cell tumors that are dense and diffuse. These types of mesothelioma tumors are very rare.
  • Benign tumors of the mesothelium – Non-cancerous tumors.

Mesothelioma Help

If you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure and would like to learn more about what is mesothelioma, call Sokolove Law today. Learn about possible legal action that can be taken while undergoing mesothelioma treatment, or for any other asbestos-related cancer.