Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that surrounds the body’s internal organs called the mesothelium. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the mesothelial lining or pleural, which surrounds the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for approximately 75% of mesothelioma diagnoses. Peritoneal mesothelioma, mesothelioma of the abdominal lining, attributes to 10-20% of mesothelioma diagnoses. Pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the heart, and testicular mesothelioma, affecting the testicles, are rarer forms of the disease.

Physicians further classify mesothelioma by the shape and structure of the cancer cells. There are four types, including epithelial, sarcomatoid, desmoplastic and biphasic.

  • Epitheloid Mesothelioma
    • Epithelial cells line the organs and cavities throughout the body and are appear many glands. Mesothelial cells are a type of epithelial cell. Epitheloid mesothelioma cells are uniform, well-structured cells and resemble epithelial cells when viewed through a microscope. Epitheloid mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma, accounting for around 60% of diagnosed cases.
  • Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma
    • Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common form of mesothelioma. Around 10% of mesothelioma diagnoses are sarcomatoid. Under a microscope, these mesothelioma cells are irregular, spindle-shaped and overlapping.
  • Desmoplastic Mesothelioma
    • Desmoplastic mesothelioma is a variant of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, and it is also very difficult to diagnose. The cells in this type of mesothelioma are innocuous, and may be misdiagnosed as benign fibrous tissue.
  • Biphasic Mesothelioma
    • Biphasic mesothelioma is the second most common type of mesothelioma, with around 30% of diagnoses. Tumors in this type of mesothelioma are a mixture of epitheloid and sarcomatoid cells.

Physicians do not base treatment options and decisions on the type of mesothelioma cancer cells they discover. Instead, physicians treat the patient based on where the cancer tumors are located in the body. Different cell types respond to treatment in different ways.  This may influence decisions on how aggressively the cancer is treated.

The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio understand that a mesothelioma diagnosis is very difficult on you and your family. We devote a significant amount of our practice to representing victims of asbestos exposure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we can help you obtain financial compensation to pay for your medical bills and lost income, and to provide financial support for your family. We urge you to contact us today regarding your legal rights.