The least common type of mesothelioma is known as sarcomatoid mesothelioma, which accounts for only approximately 10 % to 15 % of all forms of malignant mesothelioma. These cells tend to have a shape that is more oval and more irregular, and each cell's nucleus is not nearly as visible through the use of a microscope as typically epitheliod mesothelioma cells. Because there are similarities in appearance, however, it is easy to confuse the sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer cells with more typical forms of sarcoma and their cancer cells. The truth is that sarcomatoid mesothelioma and sarcoma are two completely different types of cancers with different causes and unique forms of treatment.
Because of the sarcomatoid appearance, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is often confused with a number of other types of cancer, including for example sarcomatoid carcinoma. Although sarcomatoid cancer is capable of appearing in other parts of the body, such as in the kidneys for example, it tends to be relatively rare when it comes to the lungs. 1.3 % or less of all lung carcinomas fall into the sarcomatoid subcategory.
Pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma
Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma are often mistaken for one another. This is because sarcomatoid carcinoma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma are similar to one another, however sarcomatoid carcinoma cancers are much more common in the lungs of men, with men sitting at approximately four times more likely to develop the cancer than women. There is also a strong association with the act of smoking when it comes to men developing these symptoms. There are also a number of symptoms that are shared between Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma, including pleural effusions, chest pain and respiratory difficulties for example.
It is also possible to confuse sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer with high-grade forms of sarcoma. While carcinoma cancers affect the epithelium, sarcoma generally arises from within the supportive tissues such as he bones, the fat, the cartilage and the muscles. Should the sarcoma spread to the pleural space, it can be difficult to differentiate it from sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
There can be similarities in appearance between sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells and sarcoma cells when you look at them underneath an electron microscope. Staining both tumor cells can also provide results that are quite similar. In both of these cases, the pathologist needs to take special care to make sure that the appearance and the staining of the cancer cells is compared carefully so that a definitive diagnosis can be made for malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
If you or one of your loved ones has been diagnosed with sarcomatoid mesothelioma or a similar high grade sarcoma, and asbestos exposure has come into play, then it may be best to seek a thorough examination with a sarcomatoid mesothelioma specialist because of the difficulty of making a diagnosis. Obtaining the right diagnosis is absolutely vital in making sure that you receive the right treatment.