Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malignant Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma-What Is This?

In histological terms, there are four different types of mesothelioma: sarcomatoid, epithelial, biphasic, and desmoplastic (a variant of sarcomatoid).In medical terms, the term histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of cellular tissue to gain insight into the manifestations of various diseases.

Malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common of the four cellular types. It accounts for approximately 7 to 20 percent of cases. When viewed under a microscope,the malignant cells appear as elongated spindle-shaped cells that are irregularly shaped and often overlap one another.

Desmoplastic mesothelioma is considered a variant of sarcomatoid mesothelioma. This form is likely the most difficult of all mesotheliomas to diagnose. When desmoplastic mesothelioma invades or metastasizes, the cells can appear very bland and can be misdiagnosed as benign fibrous tissue. Medical experts say this form should not be diagnosed with a needle core biopsy.

It's important to know that malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma is sometimes difficult to diagnose on the basis of histological methods. For example, cells of another type of cancer called pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma are very similar in appearance (as well as other characteristics) to malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma. For this reason, if you are diagnosed with cancer and you know that you have been exposed to asbestos at some time in the past, obtaining a second diagnostic opinion may be important. Different types of cancer vary widely in terms of prognosis and treatment options, and if misdiagnosed, patients may not receive the most appropriate treatment for their cancer.

Treatment and Prognosis

Each of the four cellular forms of mesothelioma is generally treated in the same way. Treatment is not based on the specific type of cells involved, but instead on the location of tumors and the stage of the cancer. Each type of cancer responds to treatment very differently. In general, patients with malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma have a poorer prognosis than patients with the epithelioid type , as sarcomatoid cancers are more aggressive and more resistant to treatment. Unfortunately, the general prognosis for all the different types is usually poor, and the difference in prognosis between sarcomatoid, epithelioid, biphasic and desmoplastic cancers may amount to as little as a few months.

Biopsy and Histopathology

Patients undergoing medical evaluation to ascertain a diagnosis of mesothelioma will also have to undergo a variety of medical tests to determine the location and nature of the cancer.

- Biopsy: This involves removal of samples of suspected cancer cells from several locations in the tumor site which are taken to the laboratory for proper evaluation to determine what type of cells they are and whether the cells are malignant.

The biopsy samples are tested in the laboratory under the principles of histopathology in two ways: - They are viewed under a microscope to determine their general appearance. - The cells are also tested for the presence of oncoproteins and molecules that are specific to certain type of cancer cells.

When viewed under a microscope, mesothelioma cells and other types of cancer cells have different types of appearance and different shapes when compared to normal healthy cells. Further tests that evaluate the types of proteins present on the surface of the cells are needed to determine the exact nature of the cells.

When mesothelial cells become malignant, they begin to produce different types of proteins and some of these are present on the surface of the cells. Examining the types of surface proteins allows a histologist to determine if the cells are malignant mesothelioma, another type of cancer, or healthy cells. The application of histochemistry in the diagnosis of mesotheliomas is primarily to differentiate epithelial mesotheliomas from mucin-producing adenocarcinoma.

About the Author

Bello Kamorudeen http:www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy - 5 Commonly Asked Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Questions

Mesothelioma patients usually have some questions that they want answers for when they want to commence on Chemotherapy. These include:

1. What is chemotherapy for mesothelioma? Chemotherapy involves one or more anti-cancer drugs taken either orally in pill form, or intravenously, or, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, injected directly into the lungs. These drugs inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but they also damage normal healthy cells as well leading to the development of side effects.

2. What are the common side effects of mesothelioma chemotherapy? Side effects are very common with the use of many Chemotherapy agents. The commonly seen side effects include:

* hair loss * nausea * vomiting * diarrhea * constipation * anemia * hemorrhaging

Chemotherapy also causes many complicated side effects within the cancerous growth. It is not uncommon in mesothelioma cases to have secondary neoplasms, which are cancerous offshoots of the original tumor that have redirected their growth due to the introduction of anti-cancer drugs.

3. What are the other risks of chemotherapy? Furthermore, chemotherapy often increases the chances of toxic reactions in the blood, liver, and kidneys, contributing to the potential fatal nature of chemotherapy treatment. Because chemotherapy suppresses the immune system by decreasing antibodies in the bloodstream, patients undergoing chemotherapy are vulnerable to having common infections and illnesses. Other complications are mouth sores which, in combination with the overwhelming nausea and intestinal discomfort caused by chemotherapy, results in many patients failing to eat a healthy diet.

4. What can you do if chemotherapy does not work? If you suffer from mesothelioma and chemotherapy has failed you, then you should consult with an attorney experienced in handling asbestos-related litigation. You have a right to pursue legal action to seek justice from those who wronged you. Don't delay, for the laws in your state limit the amount of time you have to collect damages, and these statutes of limitations can end your case before it can begin. Contact a lawyer today.

5. Does chemotherapy work well on mesothelioma? Chemotherapy does not result in a cure for mesothelioma as the cancer is usually too advanced at the time of diagnosis. Newer chemotherapy agents however are very useful in providing symptomatic relief and prolonging the life span of patients especially when used in combination with other modalities of treatment like surgery and radiotherapy.

Bello Kamorudeen.http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy - What Are the Six Commonly Used Chemotherapy Agents?

Mesothelioma cancer, can be treated by the use of anti cancer drug therapies. These anti cancer drugs act by inhibiting tumor growth through the blocking of cell division and multiplication. This mode of action also unfortunately affects other rapidly replicating cells in the body, cells of the hair and the lining of the intestine are particularly vulnerable, thus leading to the common side effects of anti cancer drugs like hair loss and nausea.

Mesothelioma is notoriously resistant to common anti cancer chemotherapy as result of some reasons. The cancer takes a long time to mature and show symptoms, by the time these symptoms appear the tumor will be well formed with a lot of layers of dead cells that the anti cancer drugs will find it difficult to penetrate, and also by the time a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made, most victims have but a short time left to live so the drugs do not have enough time to exert their maximal effect.

New drugs that have been designed to overcome these challenges and have fewer and lesser side effects include:

Alimta (Pemetrexed)

Alimta was approved by The Food and Drug Administration in February 2004 as a new anti cancer drug for the treatment of mesothelioma. Its mode of action is by inhibiting the creation of thymidine and purine , two enzymes that are vital to cell growth. This stops the mesothelioma cancer cells from multiplying at a very fast rate. Its side effects include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, mouth sores and low blood counts. Patients are usually placed on vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements to reduce the severity of the side effects.


This is a platinum-based chemotherapy drug that prevents the reproduction of DNA and is used to treat a number of different cancers including mesothelioma. The FDA approved it in 1978 to treat a number of cancers, and has proved somewhat effective on mesothelioma. Cisplatin however has some very serious side effects which inlude ear damage{ototoxicity} leading to hearing loss, kidney damage, nerve damage, and nausea, and so some oncologist are very reluctant to prescribe this drug to patients.

Tomudex (Raltitrexed)

This drug prevents cancer cells from replicating the DNA that is needed for multiplication and spread of cancer. This drug can be used as a monotherapy or in combination with onconase.


This anticancer drug was initially approved by the FDA in 1994 for the treatment of small lung cancer and breast cancer, but recent studies have shown that it could also be effective against mesothelioma, and the drug has little side effect profile. It can also be used in combination with some other chemotherapy drugs.

Onconase (Ranpirnase/P-30 Protein)

Onconase is a chemical taken from the eggs of the leopard frog that blocks protein synthesis which leads to blockage of tumor cell division and growth. It has shown promise as becoming one of the more effective drugs for treating cancer, as survival rates for one and two years are 34.4% and 21.6 respectively, as opposed to six to eight months without treatment.


This is an anticancer chemotherapy drug that blocks the growth of tumors in people suffering from lymphoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, and colon and lung cancers. Many oncologists believe that it could be effective in fighting mesothelioma, as Veglin inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a substance that is usually found in very high concentrations in mesothelioma patients. VEGF helps tumors grow new blood vessels which help to supply nutrients to the new tumor cells. This drug inhibits this process thus starving the new cancer cells of their much needed nutrients, leading to their ultimate death

Bello Kamorudeen.http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two Important Steps That Will Help You to Cope With a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma is undoubtedly one of the most devastating and harrowing experiences one can pass through in life, it is like receiving a certain death sentence. All patients will pass through the classical stages of grief, the initial shock followed by denial, then anger, then depression, and finally acceptance of the grim reality of the terminal disease.

This mix of powerful emotions can overwhelm even those that claim to be very strong individuals. This disease often leaves its victims in a very fragile state of mind.

Even the most compassionate and understanding people can be frustrated by the mortality of mesothelioma, and they can become worn out emotionally very quickly if they do not take steps to help them cope with the disease. Mesothelioma diagnosis is a tragic and devastating revelation, and these are some steps that you can take to help you cope with the disease.

1-Try and overcome the fear and sorrow that usually comes with the diagnosis of a terminal illness. Reach out to your friends, strengthen your religious faith, locate and interact with other victims of the disease to learn how they are coping and share experiences with each other. Also draw strength from within your innate powerful resources that can only manifest when you are facing an almost impossible situation like this.

Face this certain mortality with dignity and poise. Fear and hopelessness will only rob you of what little time you have left, and hinder any positive decisions you might have to make.

2-You still control your life, make a choice to make a difference. Try and pursue legal action against those who knowingly put you at risk of developing this cancer, they purposefully exposed you to asbestos exposure to maximize profit and they must pay for their actions. This will serve justice to a callous and very selfish industry.

Also the monetary compensation you will get will give you the assurance that even after you might have passed away, your family will not have to suffer financially. This will also help you to face inevitable mortality with a lot of courage. So contact a mesothelioma Lawyer as soon as possible.

Bello Kamorudeen. http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alarming Mesothelioma Statistics For You to Know

Mesothelioma is not a very common disease with about 2000-3000 new cases seen in the US every year.

-There was a gradual increase in the number of cases of newly diagnosed mesothelioma victims in the United States from the 1970's to the 1990's after which the number became fairly constant. After the year 2000 and beyond the number has likely been on the decrease.

-Mesothelioma is more common in men. It is four times commoner in men than in women.

-The number of new Mesothelioma cases is still increasing in European countries.

-Mesothelioma commonly affects people over the age of 55 years, it is very rare to find Mesothelioma in people under the age of 55 years and its incidence increases with age, about 90% of people diagnosed with Mesothelioma are over the age of 65 years.

-This cancer is commoner in Caucasians and Hispanics than in African Americans or in Asian Americans.

-The mean lifespan of the victims of this deadly cancer is between four to eighteen months. About nine to ten percent of mesothelioma victims live up to five years after diagnosis. The lifespan of individual cases depend on many factors including the stage and the degree of spread of the tumor at diagnosis, the age of the victim at diagnosis, general state of health, and some other factors.

-It is however important to note that most of these survival data were collected from patients diagnosed and treated years ago , it is most likely that these figures might have improved by now with more victims living longer after diagnosis.

-Finally it is important to also note that these figures are just a guide and they do not determine your own outcome of the disease. So many other individual factors come to play to determine your own actual outcome, you should discuss with your oncologist to know how best these figures apply to you.

Bello Kamorudeen. http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mesothelioma Prevention - Three Main Ways To Prevent Mesothelioma

The main way by which mesothelioma is prevented is by reducing and limiting exposure to asbestos at home, at work and at public places. These three measures help to prevent and reduce exposure to asbestos fibers.

1. Jobs that have high risk of exposure to asbestos include mining, factory workers, insulation manufacturers, railroad and automotive workers, ship builders, gas mask manufacturers, and construction workers, particularly those involved with insulation. People that work in any of these sites should always put on protective gowns, and they fully adopt and abide by all the safety work procedures and practices in their place of work.

2. Old houses might have asbestos containing insulation materials and people living in them could also be at risk of exposure to asbestos. If you live in an old house you might need to get a knowledgeable expert to determine the level of asbestos in your home, so that you can know if you are at risk from asbestos. Generally however asbestos in buildings might not pose much danger if they are in good condition, it is only when they are tampered with when you attempt to remove them that they might actually be released into the air, so it is better you live them alone.

If in any case you decide to remove asbestos from your home you must get a qualified contractor to remove them for you to prevent contamination of your home further. Never attempt to remove the asbestos containing materials yourself.

3. Some commercial and public buildings especially come schools also contain asbestos. These buildings could expose people to asbestos especially if they are damaged and when they start deteriorating gradually over time. Federal Laws require that schools and public buildings should inspect their asbestos containing buildings regularly and have a plan for managing them

Bello Kamorudeen. http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com

Friday, July 2, 2010

Causes of Mesothelioma - An Insight Into the Likely Causes of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive and rare cancer that is difficult to diagnose and that is also highly resistant to treatment. Around 2000-3000 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are seen every year in the US, and these figures are expected to rise over the next decade.

What causes mesothelioma?

There is extensive and undeniable medical evidence that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. There is no other known cause.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was widely used in industrial, commercial and domestic products throughout the 20th century. It was particularly popular because of its durability, fire resistant and insulating properties. It was used in several thousand different manufactured asbestos products. These included construction materials, household appliances and brake linings, the use was so widespread that millions of Americans were unknowingly exposed to the toxic material, which now leads to the development of mesothelioma amongst million of Americans.

Most of the companies that manufactured these asbestos contaminated products were aware of the danger of asbestos, but still preferred to put millions at risk to make huge profits.

However today, as more cases are being diagnosed and they are seeking for legal compensation, these companies are being ordered to pay compensations to patients affected by asbestos.

How does asbestos cause mesothelioma?

Internal organs and body cavities are lined by a thin tissue called mesothelium. This lining lines the lungs {pleura} and it also lines the heart sac {pericardium} and abdominal cavity {peritoneum}.

This mesothelial tissue offers protection and support for the internal organs and body cavities. It also provides lubrication to help organ function properly and be in good health.

Mesothelioma affects this lining of various organs and body cavities, mostly the pleura, pericardium, and peritoneum. Occasionally and rarely, the cancer may affect the lining of the testicles, called the tunica vaginalis.

Although the actual mechanism by which asbestos causes cancer is not known, there are about four different theories to explain this:

1-Asbestos causes irritation and inflammation of mesothelial cells, which results in irreversible scarring, cellular damage, and eventually cancer

2- Asbestos fibers enter cells and disrupt the function of cellular structures that are essential for normal cell division, causing cellular changes that lead to cancer.

3-Asbestos causes the production of free radicals. These molecules damage DNA, and cause cells to mutate and become cancerous.

4-The presence of asbestos causes cells to produce oncoproteins. These molecules cause mesothelial cells to ignore normal cellular division restraints, and this can lead to the development of cancer.

The common underlying pathophysiology in each of these theories is that asbestos cause's cellular damage mainly by causing the cells of the mesothelium to divide and multiply without restraint causing the formation of tumors. This uncontrolled division causes impairment of the normal function of the body organs and tissues.

Does Mesothelioma have other causes? Although research and medical evidence has not been able to directly prove any other cause of mesothelioma other than asbestos exposure, it is known however that smoking can aggravate a less serious asbestos related disease, such as asbestosis, and prompt formation of tumors and the onset of the cancer.

Also asbestos exposure and smoking have a synergistic effect that increases the risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 84 times or more. Thus people that have been exposed to asbestos for a prolonged period of time are advised to not to smoke.

Bello Kamorudeen http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com