Malignant Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment :

Hello and welcome to this comprehensive journal article about malignant epithelioid mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the mesothelial cells lining the body’s internal organs. The disease is often associated with exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and automotive manufacturing in the past.

What is malignant epithelioid mesothelioma?

Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 70% of all cases. It originates in the epithelial cells that form the outer lining of internal organs such as the lungs, abdomen, or heart. The cancer cells grow and spread rapidly, leading to various complications and ultimately, death if left untreated.

Here are the 5 key features of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma:

Feature Description
Cell type Epithelial cells
Prevalence 70% of all mesothelioma cases
Growth pattern Spreads in a sheet-like pattern
Prognosis Variable, depends on various factors
Treatment options Combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy

Causes of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma

The primary cause of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was extensively used in various industries from the 1940s to the 1970s. The fibers of asbestos are small and sharp, making them easy to inhale or swallow. Once inside the body, the fibers settle in the mesothelial layer of organs and cause inflammation and scarring, which over time can lead to the development of cancer.

However, not everyone exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma. Other factors such as genetics, age, smoking, and the intensity and duration of asbestos exposure may also play a role in the development of the disease.

Symptoms of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma

The symptoms of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma may vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. Some common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Swelling in the abdomen

These symptoms may not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage, making early detection and diagnosis crucial for effective treatment.

Diagnosis of malignant epithelioid mesothelioma

Diagnosing malignant epithelioid mesothelioma can be challenging as the symptoms are often similar to those of other respiratory conditions. Your doctor may perform several tests and procedures to confirm the diagnosis, such as:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Biopsy

If the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will determine the stage and extent of the cancer to develop a customized treatment plan.

Treatment options for malignant epithelioid mesothelioma

The treatment for malignant epithelioid mesothelioma may depend on various factors such as the stage and location of the cancer, your overall health, and your personal preferences. The standard treatment options include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be recommended to achieve the best possible outcome. Your doctor may also suggest clinical trials or experimental treatments if appropriate.

FAQs about malignant epithelioid mesothelioma

1. Who is at risk of developing malignant epithelioid mesothelioma?

Individuals who have been exposed to asbestos fibers are at the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. This includes workers in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing, and mining, where asbestos was commonly used as a building material or insulation.

2. Can malignant epithelioid mesothelioma be cured?

Currently, there is no cure for malignant epithelioid mesothelioma. However, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help manage the symptoms and extend the patient’s life expectancy.

3. How is malignant epithelioid mesothelioma different from other types of mesothelioma?

Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma originates in the epithelial cells that form the outer lining of internal organs. Other types of mesothelioma include sarcomatoid mesothelioma, which affects the connective tissues in the body, and biphasic mesothelioma, which is a combination of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid types.

4. What are the side effects of mesothelioma treatment?

The side effects of mesothelioma treatment may vary depending on the type and intensity of the treatment. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and skin irritation. Your doctor or healthcare team can provide you with specific information and advice on how to manage these side effects.

5. Can malignant epithelioid mesothelioma recur after treatment?

Yes, malignant epithelioid mesothelioma can recur after treatment. Regular follow-up appointments and monitoring are essential to detect any recurrence and provide timely treatment.


Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the mesothelial cells lining the internal organs. Although it is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, other factors may also contribute to the development of the disease. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help manage the symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. For more information, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.

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