Mesothelioma Attorneys

Papillary Mesothelioma

Asbestos Cancer

Papillary mesothelioma is a very rare variation of epithelial mesothelioma. It is also referred to as well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM). It is relatively benign, or has a low malignant potential, meaning that unlike most mesothelioma it is not likely to spread to other parts of the body. However, there have been cases of aggressive papillary mesothelioma, and treatment should not be delayed. WDPM normally responds well to treatment, and the prognosis for patients is good.

Who Gets Papillary Mesothelioma?

WDPM is usually found in women of reproductive years, and starts in the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds the abdominal organs (peritoneum). It has been found in men, in the tunica vaginalis which is the outpouching of the peritoneum which surrounds the testicles. It has also been found in the protective sac around the heart (pericardium), the lining of the lungs (pleura), and the ovaries.

Papillary mesothelioma has not been as closely linked to asbestos exposure as other types of mesothelioma, although in some cases patients had a known history of asbestos exposure.

Papillary Mesothelioma Treatment

No standard course of treatment for papillary mesothelioma has been established, because it is so rare. Surgery is usually the preferable treatment because the cancer does not usually spread and can be completely removed. Chemotherapy and radiation may be used to shrink WDPM tumors.

WDPM responds well to treatment, but has a tendency to recur. Recurrence of WDPM does not necessarily indicate an increased likelihood of malignant mesothelioma.

Although WDPM typically grows slowly, is unlikely to spread, and responds well to treatment, that does not mean that you should delay treatment. Because WDPM is so rare, doctors do not really know very much about it. There have been aggressive cases, and even though it is not usually malignant, it can be malignant. Putting off treatment is taking an unnecessary risk, and may cost you your chance of beating a deadly cancer.