Mesothelioma is specialized form of cancer affecting the upper part of the body namely the heart, pleura sac. and abdomen. The disease manifests in the form of cancer cells and cancerous growths as a direct result of inhaling asbestos dust particles.
There are three types of mesothelioma cancers cells
Epithelioid cells are the most common cancer cells found in mesothelioma patients. About 70 percent of all mesothelioma cells are of this type. These cells take on a tubular or papillary shape and are found on the organs of the upper body and in the lining of these vital organs as well. People exhibiting these cancer cells have the highest survival rate (up to 5 years).
Sarcomatoid are overlapping spindle-like cancer cells, which are the most deadly cells. They attach themselves to bones, fat, and other secondary tissue such as cartilage. These cells are not treatable. Patients have the shortest survival rate but fortunately it affects less than 20 percent of the mesothelioma cancer patients.
Mixed/biphasic cancer cells
Mixed/biphasic cancer cells are a mixture of both types of cells affecting about 30 to 40 percent of mesothelioma patients.
Different types of Mesothelioma Cancer
Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma cancer. The cancer attacks the lining of the lungs known as the pleural sac. The mesothelium (hence the name mesothelioma) is a membrane that is responsible for creating a certain amount of liquid that will help the lungs to move around in order to inhale and exhale. The production of this fluid, is a normal function of the body.
In the case of mesothelioma, the inhaled asbestos fibers that reside in the lungs protrude through the lungs and puncture through the mesothelium to the inner and outer most layer of the pleural sac, causing damage to the mesothelium. Cancers forming in this fluid will thicken the fluid making it difficult to breath. Tumors resulting from the cancer involved can rest against the ribcage and other vital organs, causing excessive pressure and extreme pain.
To be continued
For more info on mesothelioma Maggie Kay is a freelance writer from Montreal and is the head researcher and content manager of www.maacenter.org or