8 Things to Know About Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of the asbestos-related disease and according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, it accounts for around 10 percent of all mesothelioma cases. It’s one of three basic types of mesothelioma cell, along with biphasic and epithelioid.

Here’s what to know about this rare form of mesothelioma:

Symptoms will depend on where in the body the sarcomatoid mesothelioma is. If in the lungs, patients will typically present symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fluid in the lungs, chest pain, fatigue, weakness, fever, weight loss and sleeping problems. If in the stomach, symptoms include swelling in the abdomen, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea and vomiting.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is extremely difficult to diagnose and many patients are misdiagnosed. The doctor will order scans or X-rays to try and spot any abnormalities, however, the spindle-shaped cells often look like healthy cells. The similarity between the two often means that a sarcomatoid mesothelioma diagnosis is missed unless the patient undergoes a biopsy and the cells are studied under a microscope to see if they are malignant.

MORE: A brief history of mesothelioma

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