Hi there, and welcome to our in-depth guide on epithelioid mesothelioma. In this article, we will share with you some relevant facts and information on this type of cancer, from its causes to its symptoms and treatment options. Mesothelioma, in general, is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the lining of your internal organs. Epithelioid mesothelioma, in particular, is the most common type and is often considered the least aggressive of the three main subtypes.
What is Epithelioid Mesothelioma?
Epithelioid mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the mesothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines the chest, abdomen, and other internal organs. It makes up about 70% of all mesothelioma cases and develops in the epithelial cells of the mesothelium. These cells are responsible for producing the lubricating fluid that helps organs move against each other without friction. When these cells become cancerous, they begin to grow uncontrollably, causing tumors and other health complications.
Epithelioid mesothelioma is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction and manufacturing industries in the 20th century. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become embedded in the mesothelium, leading to chronic inflammation and eventually cancer. However, it can also develop as a result of genetic mutations, radiation exposure, or other environmental factors.
Causes of Epithelioid Mesothelioma
As mentioned, the primary cause of epithelioid mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Here are some other factors that can increase the risk of developing this type of cancer:
|Men are more likely to develop epithelioid mesothelioma than women.
|The risk of developing epithelioid mesothelioma increases with age, with most cases diagnosed in people over 60 years old.
|People who work in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing, and plumbing are at higher risk of exposure to asbestos.
|People with a family history of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases may have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Note: It is important to understand that even if you do not have any of the above risk factors, you may still develop epithelioid mesothelioma if you have been exposed to asbestos at any point in your life.
Symptoms of Epithelioid Mesothelioma
The symptoms of epithelioid mesothelioma can vary depending on the location of the cancer and the stage of the disease. In most cases, symptoms do not appear until many years after initial exposure to asbestos. Here are some common symptoms of this type of cancer:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Bowel obstruction or other digestive issues
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult your doctor immediately. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve your chances of recovery.
Diagnosis of Epithelioid Mesothelioma
Diagnosing epithelioid mesothelioma can be challenging, as its symptoms can be similar to other less severe respiratory or abdominal conditions. Here are some common methods used to diagnose this type of cancer:
X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are often used to detect the presence of tumors or other abnormalities in the mesothelium.
A biopsy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a small sample of tissue from the mesothelium to be examined under a microscope for signs of cancer.
Blood tests may be used to detect the presence of certain biomarkers that are associated with epithelioid mesothelioma.
Treatment Options for Epithelioid Mesothelioma
There are several treatment options available for epithelioid mesothelioma, depending on the stage and severity of the disease. Here are some common treatments:
Surgery may be used to remove the tumors and affected tissues if the cancer is detected at an early stage.
Chemotherapy involves using drugs that target and kill cancer cells throughout the body. It is often used in combination with surgery or radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to target and destroy cancer cells. It is often used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy.
1. Is epithelioid mesothelioma contagious?
No, epithelioid mesothelioma is not contagious. It is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos or other environmental factors.
2. Can you recover from epithelioid mesothelioma?
While there is no cure for epithelioid mesothelioma, early detection and treatment can significantly improve your chances of recovery. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
3. How long can you live with epithelioid mesothelioma?
The life expectancy for someone with epithelioid mesothelioma can vary depending on the stage and severity of the disease, as well as the individual’s overall health. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is around one year, but some people may live for several years with proper treatment and care.
4. What are the long-term effects of epithelioid mesothelioma?
There are several long-term effects associated with epithelioid mesothelioma, including chronic pain, loss of lung function, and decreased quality of life. However, with proper treatment and care, many people are able to manage these symptoms and continue living a fulfilling life.
Epithelioid mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the mesothelium. While it is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, it can also develop due to genetic mutations or other environmental factors. Symptoms of this type of cancer can vary depending on the location and stage of the disease. Early detection and proper treatment can significantly improve the chances of survival. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of epithelioid mesothelioma and its impact on people’s lives.