Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused predominantly by excessive exposure to asbestos, the other causes as yet unknown . Mesothelium is a protective lining on the internal organs on which malignant cells form. In most cases, pleura, the outer lining of lungs and chest cavity are affected. Mesothelioma on the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart) is also common.
Mesothelioma is categorized broadly as: epithelial, sarcomatoid and biphasic (i.e. combination of epithelial and sarcomatoid)
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma cancer, affecting only 10-20% of patients. In this, cells transform as spindle-shaped pattern that overlap each other and occurs from support tissues such as cartilage, muscle, bone and fat. Localized mesothelioma is when the cancer is only on the membrane surface. In advanced stages, it spreads beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
Diagnosis of Sarcomatoid mesothelioma:
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma, usually diagnosed by extraction of affected tissue during biopsy, can be difficult because symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to those of other diseases. It also responds poorly to treatment, resulting in fatality within a year of diagnosis.
Symptoms of sarcomatoid mesothelioma:
Symptoms of mesothelioma can appear several decades after exposure to asbestos. The most common are pain due to fluid retention in the pleural area, cough and spinal swelling, weight loss and accumulation of fluid in abdominal cavity. Apart from these, blood clotting abnormality, anemia, and fever are common.
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