Epithelioid Mesothelioma Treatment, Symptoms and Life Expectancy

epithelioid mesothelioma

Epithelioid Mesothelioma– Before we help you understand about the growing occurrence of epithelioid mesothelioma, let’s take a look at different cancerous cell types.

As you might be aware of, there are as many as 3 different mesothelioma cell types that you come across at the time of studying mesothelioma cancer. It includes:

  • Epithelial (most common)
  • Biphasic
  • Sarcomatoid cell types

Out of the above three cell types, epithelial cells happen to be the most commonly found cell type.

And therefore, Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most commonly found type of mesothelioma cancer. In fact, this cell type makes as much as 70% of all mesothelioma cases.

 

Epithelial Cell Type Has a Tendency to Mutate Into Other Forms

Considering epithelial cells, please note that these cell types are not actually cancerous but mutate into other forms.

Before we move ahead and let you know more on this, you first need to understand the term mesothelium. It’s basically a thin membrane that lines around cavities (organs) of the body.

In other words, all these cavities or body organs are made up of epithelial cells. After any epithelial cell mutates, it gives birth to the mesothelioma of the so called epithelioid cells.

At this stage, you might be interested to know about the cause of the most commonly found epithelial mesothelioma.

Well, it is mainly caused due to the asbestos exposure. In fact, it is the only known reason so far.

Other than this, there are a variety of risk factors that you can’t skip overlooking, especially while taking all of them at once.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Cell Characteristics

Before we move ahead and give you some more inputs on epithelioid mesothelioma, let’s grow our understanding on the basic characteristics or behavior of epithelial cells.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Image source: epainassist.com

 

Please know that there is a distinct way to differentiate cancerous cells from the normal ones. The basic criterion to differentiate them is done on the basis of their growth, size and shape. At the same time, it also depends how they are likely to spread.

Please note that epithelial cells are unlike other cells having a tendency to spread locally up to the lymph nodes.

Comparing them with the sarcomatoid cells, they do not spread as fast as epithelial cells.

This is mainly due to their uniform formations and therefore the most common region where their growth has been detected is lymph nodes.

 

What’s the Most Common Location of Epithelioid Mesothelioma?

If you consider the most common location of epithelioid mesothelioma, it is generally found in the linings of the lungs (also called pleura).

However, they are also seen in some other body parts including the genitals, abdomen and other reproductive organs.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Cell Shape

Considering the epithelioid mesothelioma cell shape, the cells are generally found standing apart in the presence of a clearly defined nucleus that can be most effectively used as a core determining factor at the time of undergoing a biopsy.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Image Source: treatmesothelioma.org

 

To be precise, most epithelioid mesothelioma cells are generally shaped like a cube. At other times, they are somewhat flat in appearance.

This is how they attain their shape in the normal occurrence. After they become cancerous, they change their shape depending on their sub-types.

 

Mesothelioid Mesothelioma

In the next section, we are going to discuss about the sub types of mesothelioid mesothelioma as it helps attaining the proper line of treatment.

The subtypes are based on their location, structure and symptoms and can widely alter their side effects, line of treatment and prognosis for the patient concerned.

Please know that small cell mesothelioma is widely considered as an additional sub-type of this type of lung cancer.

In spite of this, it is generally diagnosed quite comfortably in the cases of biphasic tumours that have both the presence of sarcomatoid and epithelial cell types.

However, in a few cases, you require countless number of biopsies that are crucial for diagnosis.

This is the reason why most physicians have to look for them quite precisely to find the type of tumour that a patient has.

 

Treating Mesothelioma by Studying Its Cell Type

The best way to treat any type of mesothelioma is by studying its cell type. There have been numerous cases where these cell types are often misjudged, affecting both the diagnosis and the overall treatment.

In short, we can say that If there is an error in gauging the mesothelioma cell type, it will not only affect in determining the line of treatment but also the life expectancy of the patient concerned.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Diagnosis

When it comes to the proper diagnosis of mesothelioma, it becomes extremely jarring at times.

However, the line of treatment goes quite easy after it is diagnosed as early as possible. Not only that, it eventually affects treatment options along with the life expectancy.

In most cases, long latency period along with misdiagnosis are often responsible to prevent the actual diagnosis of this dreaded ailment and its detection.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma

 

At the same time, it also prevents the early detection of the tumour. So, it is suggested to seek medical help as soon as an individual starts appearing the symptoms of epithelioid mesothelioma. The best way will be to avoid any delay in getting the proper diagnosis.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Symptoms

While discussing the epithelioid mesothelioma symptoms, please know that they strongly differ. This is because the epithelial cell type generally comes forth with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Now, the symptoms mainly include dyspnoea (shortness of breath), chest pain and pleural effusion that relates to the building up of fluid around the lungs.

  • Dyspnoea (shortness of breath)
  • Chest pain
  • Pleural effusion

 

How Mesothelioma Symptoms are Affected Due to Various Factors

  • Patient’s Age– Most of the times, it is seen that elderly people are more susceptible to various related health issues.
  • Overall Health– Individuals not keeping well or having related health issues are more prone or susceptible to be affected by these symptoms.
  • Other Factors– In case, the patient has the history of any other related conditions or diseases can worsen symptoms.
  • Tumour Sub-type– It’s often seen that aggressive types of cancers may often lead to somewhat more extreme symptoms.
  • Staging– In case, the tumour has already reached at an advanced stage, the symptoms are likely going to be more severe.
  • Location- The origin of the tumour in terms of its exact location precisely determines the level of severity of nearby tissues and organs.

 

Image Testing

You might be interested knowing about various diagnostic methods of epithelioid mesothelioma.

It most often gets started with different kinds of imaging tests that are done only after physicians take a look at the patient’s medical history, symptoms along with so many other related factors.

Please know that the most common imaging techniques that are often used for any such diagnosis involves a few well known techniques in this regard that includes CT scans, X-rays, PET scans and MRI’s.

  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • PET scan
  • MRI

Most of the above imaging techniques are done to know the precise growth of the tumour.

In addition to this, these tests are most reliable and happen to be the first step towards the future line of treatment.

For example, PET scan and MRI are one of the most recommended tests to be done before the start of the treatment of epithelioid mesothelioma.

 

Why Image Testing is done for Mesothelioma diagnosis?

We stated earlier that there are so many tests and procedures that come under image testing.

They prove some of the best diagnostic procedures to find the nature of the tumour along with its growth. In fact, these imaging tests are quite helpful to give a direction to the treatment.

Tumour Location and Growth Matters

The tumour location and growth can give physicians a precise way to start the treatment in a more aggressive way that won’t be possible without knowing these basic details.

Also, this is how the exact stage of the tumour is known. In short, these imaging procedures happen to be the only way to guide doctors an exact path to follow or the line of treatment.

Now, please take a look at some of the below mentioned reasons why image testing is widely recommended done for the diagnosis of mesothelioma:

  • Collecting a sample cancerous tissue for the purpose of examination
  • To gauge the exact stage of tumour
  • Get the confirmation about mesothelioma
  • Determination of cell type
  • Identify the exact stage
  • To better evaluate the size and shape of cell nuclei

Biopsies have become one of the most reliable and favorite ways to underline the exact stage and type of the tumour.

The procedure involves taking out a small piece of the cancerous tissue. It further helps investigating about the cancer cells quite precisely before the actual treatment gets started.

The above procedure also helps patient prognosis as it involves some crucial findings about defective cells that relate to cytology and histology.

The reason why this is done is to give a clear direction to the line of treatment and even helps to avoid any sort of misdiagnosis in any way.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Treatment

This is the right time to let you know more about the reason why biopsies happen to be so crucial before the actual treatment starts.

Please note that if epithelioid malignant mesothelioma cells get caught at an early stage, then chemotherapy and surgery become the most desired options for the treatment.

As far as advanced diagnosis of tumour is concerned, this might leave them confined to palliative care as they are most unlikely to handle to the side effects of the treatment.

 

Most Viable Options for the Treatment of Mesothelioma

In this section, we are going to discuss about the most preferable treatment plan for epithelioid mesothelioma.

Please note that a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are used altogether in the treatment of such tumours. The technique is often known as multimodal treatment.

As mesothelioma is almost having no cure, the main thing that a physician looks for is to alleviate or eliminate related symptoms and offer the patient with the longest possible life expectancy.

What purpose do these treatments solve?

We have already stated above that a patient has to undergo different line of treatment that involves chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy.

In fact, all the above treatment options are considered to eliminate mesothelioma symptoms to the most extent. Take a look at them precisely.

Chemotherapy

  • Used palliative or curatively
  • Confines to mesothelioma cells in the body
  • Precisely done to alleviating tumour cells or shrink it eventually eliminating all the associated symptoms

Radiation Therapy

  • Involves targeted treatment
  • Confines to kill cancerous cells at large
  • Helps for comfort in shortness of breath and pain

Surgery

  • can be used both palliative or curatively
  • Acts as a targeted treatment
  • Targets to remove pain and various other symptoms that come in the form of discomfort
  • Removing fluid build up

As we have already stated above that certain treatment options like chemotherapy is known to cause side effects, there are patients who come up at the later stages and are not recommended to undergo such treatments.

However, if the patient comes in early, chemotherapy can be a great way to eliminate cancerous cells up to optimum levels.

 

Palliative Care option for Mesothelioma

There is a common misconception among people that the above treatment is available only for those patients who have come to an end of their lives.

 

Epitheliod Mesothelioma

 

But this is not the fact. Please know that palliative care happens to be a great option for patients as it is known to provide them with all the comfort during their treatment.

Please understand that palliative care varies in significant ways that falls in various categories including yoga, surgery, and chemotherapy along with other supportive groups.

This is the reason why it is mostly recommended that patients should discuss the type of palliative care plan with their physicians that could best address their discomfort and related symptoms.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Prognosis

Today, there is a variety of line of treatment options available towards any sort of mesothelioma patient. Prognosis mainly depends on so many factors.

If we discuss about the general prognosis options, those patients who are specifically undergoing all the multi-modal care are most likely to have more comfort and a better life expectancy.

In addition to this, so many types of drug combination therapies are known to act quite positively. And this impacts in their survival rates as well.

There are a few drugs like cisplatin and pemetrexed that look promising, especially when they are used cumulatively.

 

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

In this section, we are going to discuss about the epithelioid mesothelioma life expectancy.

Please note that in most epithelioid Mesothelioma cases, the normal life expectancy rate goes up to 18-24 months.

Here, the treatment options have a far greater and positive impact as compared to sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

In the same ways, it also affects the life expectancy in great ways. As much as 60% of such patients have shown a greater survival rate who are in the stage of receiving the treatment.

This is mainly because this type of tumour happens to be quite less aggressive as compared to the sarcomatoid mesotherlioma type patients.

In order to exactly evaluate the life expectancy of epithelioid mesothelioma, Nuclear Grading is most commonly used. As you know that epithelial cells already have a well defined and clear nucleus, they happen to be the best contender for such grading system.

Those patients who fall under the grade 1 list generally have the survival rates up to 24 months. In the same ways, those with grade 2 have a survival rates up to 5 months or longer.

As the life expectancy for most epithelioid mesothelioma cases seem to be bleak, various research and other development techniques continue to pave the way for an extended survival rates.

 

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