One of three main mesothelioma cell types, epithelioid mesothelioma makes up approximately 70% of all mesothelioma cases. Epithelial cells spread slower than other cell types, giving epithelioid mesothelioma patients a better prognosis and treatment options.
What Is Epithelioid Mesothelioma?
Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma, also called epithelial mesothelioma, is the most common mesothelioma cell type. The other two mesothelioma cell types are sarcomatoid and biphasic.
Approximately 70% of patients develop epithelioid mesothelioma, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Epithelioid mesothelioma pathology outlines show that epithelial cells are characterized by their polygonal, oval, or cube-like shapes. These cells divide rapidly but stick to one another, preventing epithelioid mesothelioma from spreading as quickly as the other cell types.
There is no cure for any type of mesothelioma, but those with epithelioid mesothelioma have better survival rates and more treatment options when compared to the other cell types.
Epithelioid Mesothelioma Causes
Most cases of mesothelioma, including epithelioid mesothelioma, are caused by asbestos exposure.
Because the U.S. military used asbestos up through the 1980s, veterans have an increased risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. In fact, veterans make up over 30% of all cases of malignant mesothelioma.
“I served in the Navy for 20 years. I always knew that there was asbestos, and when I went aboard ship, that’s when I found out that it was asbestos in the products. Nobody ever said anything about it being dangerous.”
– Walter Twidwell, U.S. Navy Veteran and Mesothelioma Patient
Epithelial Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of mesothelioma do not vary widely by cell type. Instead, epithelioid mesothelioma symptoms are dependent on where the cancerous tumors first develop.
- People who inhale asbestos fibers and develop pleural mesothelioma (forms in the lining of the lungs) typically experience lung-related symptoms.
- People who swallow or ingest asbestos fibers and develop peritoneal mesothelioma (forms in the lining of the abdomen) typically experience abdominal-related symptoms.
Patients with epithelioid mesothelioma may experience:
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough or coughing up blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen
- Bloating or feeling full easily