5 Facts about Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

by James Flood on Nov. 15, 2011

Accident & Injury Asbestos & Mesothelioma 

Summary: Hard to Diagnose and Potentially Aggressive Form of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

There are many ways to classify mesothelioma. One way to do that is by cellular structure. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is one specific type. This form of mesothelioma is hard to diagnose. It is one of the rarer forms of this cancer. Unfortunately, with this form of cancer, the difficulty with this cancer is that it resembles many other forms of cancer. That can make diagnosis and treatment difficult. By the time many patients receive the diagnosis, it can be too late.

  1. Sarcomatoid cells are random and irregular. That is one of its hallmarks. They have no apparent nucleus in their structure. They are irregular in shape and usually appear elongated, much like a spindle. Apparently, these cells come out of cells grown to support the muscles and bones of the body. These cell structures tend to appear randomly throughout the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. In the earliest stages, they do not clump together to give an indication they are present. That is a reason why this form of cancer is so hard to diagnose.
  1. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma accounts for only 15% of cases. The most common form is epithelial. Other mesothelioma cells include biphasic and desoplastic. These other forms of cell structure have visible nuclei. Sarcomatoid cells do not. In many cases, doctors do not find the sarcomatoid form of mesothelioma until it is far too late to do any good. The rarity of the cancer makes it even less likely to pop up on the radar.
  1. Diagnosis of sarcomatoid mesothelioma is difficult due to the resemblance to benign fibrous tissue. The traditional method for diagnosing mesothelioma is to take a needle core biopsy of the questionable area. Even under a microscope, it is quite difficult to tell a sarcomatoid mesothelioma cell from benign fibrous tissue. Even experienced technicians and experts can have difficulty.
  1. This form of mesothelioma can be quite aggressive. It is more likely to form around the tissues of the lungs. It does not form as often in the peritoneum, or lining of the abdomen. The fact that sarcomatoid mesothelioma mimics benign tissue makes it hard to diagnose. That combines with the aggression to make this a cancer that doctors often miss until the patient dies. Many cases of this type of mesothelioma also contain other types of mesothelioma cells like epithelial.
  1. Early diagnosis is essential with sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Some treatments for epithelial mesothelioma cells do not work on sarcomatoid cells. Moreover, some treatments for sarcomatoid cells do not work on epithelial cells. That makes treatment very difficult. If caught early, the patient can get the combination of treatments that will treat all aspects of their mesothelioma. Unfortunately, with the tissue being so close to benign structures in appearance, diagnosis often comes too late.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma treatment options depend on how far along the cancer is when detected. In its earliest stages, surgery may be an option. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment can also be an option. In the latter stages, most often treatment involves palliative care only. This form of mesothelioma can spread too many parts of the body quite quickly. Early detection is the most effective way to deal with this illness.

Please inquire with Flood Law Group, LLP, http://www.lawyer.com/flood-law-group-llp-james-flood.html

References:

http://smallcelllungcancer.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcomatoid_carcinoma_of_the_lung

http://www.pleuralmesothelioma.com/cancer/histology.php

http://smallcelllungcancer.net/stage-4-small-cell-lung-cancer/

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