Heterologous mesothelioma is a rare subtype of mesothelioma. Physicians have limited information on it since this subtype is so unique. Scientists and doctors continue to research heterologous mesothelioma, but with such small amounts of cases to go on, there is still a lot of work to be done.
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About Heterologous Mesothelioma
Heterologous mesothelioma closely resembles any other type of mesothelioma. Its only difference is that the cancerous cells’ structures inside the tumor do not resemble other cell structures.
Tumors of the heterologous type have tissues that contain different elements than other tissues in the body. For instance, there are different elements in the tumors in cartilage and the body’s soft tissues. Physicians are still unsure of how this happens, which makes treatment options difficult.
Heterologous Mesothelioma Causes
Asbestos exposure seems to be the primary cause of heterologous mesothelioma. Yet, it’s still unclear how the subtype’s histological aspects affect people.
As mentioned earlier, scientists and physicians are still researching, but so far, research indicates that cellular differentiation is also an important factor when determining the cause of heterologous mesothelioma.
Cellular differentiation occurs when specialized cells become less specialized than others. Once this process happens, the cells are unable to work as they should.
Cancerous cells that differentiate are not only less developed than the surrounding cells, but also indicate a grim prognosis. Tumorous cells with adverse differentiation tend to spread and grow fast.
Cell differentiation, along with the genetic changes that occur with mesothelioma cancer, is one theory on how heterologous mesothelioma occurs.
Heterologous Mesothelioma Prognosis and Treatment Options
The prognosis for heterologous mesothelioma is currently grim. According to the few studies conducted on this subtype, the average survival rate of heterologous mesothelioma patients is around six to nine months. Yet, since there is so little data and research, the average survival rate is still uncertain.
In addition, as with every case of mesothelioma, survival rates are not set in stone. In fact, one patient diagnosed with heterologous mesothelioma lived for more than five years after treatment.
Treatment is still not clearly defined for this unusual subtype of mesothelioma. In recent studies, physicians indicated that bone morphogenetic protein 2, or BMP-2, a protein, may help heterologous mesothelioma patients extend their survival rates.
Traditional treatments are also offered for patients with heterologous mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of two or more of the treatments (multimodal).
Furthermore, as with all types of mesothelioma, your lifestyle will play a role in your survival rate. Consider the following that could potentially help in extending survival rate:
- Maintain a strong support group, whether it be family, friends, in-person mesothelioma support meetings, or online support groups.
- Always consume a diet that consists of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, and lean meat, or other forms of protein. Your physician can help you work out a diet plan for your needs.
- Get as much exercise as possible, but be certain to stop if you feel ill or too winded. Again, your physician can help you develop a good exercise plan as well.
- Try to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Stress contributes to numerous illnesses.
Additional Help for Mesothelioma Victims
Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. Keep in mind that if you have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for considerable compensation for pain, suffering, medical expenses, and more. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.