Table of Contents
- Benign mesothelioma is extremely rare and has four subtypes.
- The cause is unknown and can occur at any age.
- Benign mesothelioma is usually successfully treated with surgery.
- Although easily treatable, in some cases, benign tumours can become malignant or recur.
Contrary to its more prevalent counterpart, malignant mesothelioma, benign mesothelioma rarely progresses to death and is straightforward to treat. About half of patients with this disease experience symptoms, while the rest are asymptomatic. Secondary symptoms may occur if benign tumors become large enough to press on other organs and interfere with their function.
Malignant Mesothelioma vs Benign Mesothelioma
There are twotypes of mesotheliomas: benign and malignant. As the names suggest, benign mesothelioma is not cancerous, while malignant mesothelioma is difficult-to-treat. Cause, symptoms, and treatment are all factors that distinguish the two forms of disease and can help the patient better understand their prognosis.
What Causes Benign and Malignant Mesothelioma?
When considering the causes of malignant and benign mesothelioma, most patients with malignant mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure. The precise cause of the mild type is still unknown, and it has not been clearly related to asbestos exposure. The potential risk factors and warning signals that people should watch out for are still being researched. This will ensure the earliest possible detection and, therefore, a wide range of treatment options.
Symptoms Of Benign and Malignant Mesothelioma
While malignant mesothelioma typically has a latency period of 10 to 50 years before symptoms appear, benign mesothelioma symptoms can appear at any time. Delayed detection of cancer symptoms often complicates diagnosis and can lead to misdiagnosis. Patients experiencing mesothelioma symptoms should seek professional help as soon as possible. In general, the symptoms of benign mesothelioma are often similar to those of malignant mesothelioma, although they can vary greatly by location, subtype, and from patient to patient.
Potential Symptoms of Both Malignant and Benign Mesothelioma
- Shortness of breath (shortness of breath)
- Chest pain or abdominal pain
- Night sweats and/or fever
- Pleural effusion or peritoneal effusion
- Fatigue and weakness
- Labored breathing
Metastasis Of Benign and Malignant Mesothelioma
The progression of mesothelioma is greatly influenced by metastasis. Life expectancy and treatment options may be significantly impacted by spread. The malignant form is known to spread to adjacent lymph nodes, tissues, and organs. On the other hand, benign mesothelioma rarely affects other parts of the body unless the benign tumor grows large enough to interfere with the functioning of the organs. In addition to not being cancer, limited metastasis makes benign mesothelioma much easier to treat.
Treatment Options for Benign and Malignant Mesothelioma
Tumors and symptoms are treated with mesothelioma surgery both curatively and palliatively.
Unlike its malignant form, benign mesothelioma is often curable and has a low mortality rate. These benign tumors are usually treated with surgery, and most patients make a full recovery and lead normal lives. Malignant mesothelioma currently has no known cure with a poor prognosis, but treatment can prolong and improve patients’ lives.
Subtypes Of Benign Mesothelioma
There are four main subtypes of benign mesothelioma, although they account for fewer cases than malignant mesothelioma types. Depending on the subtype, benign mesothelioma can occur anywhere in the mesothelium, the layer of cells that surrounds organs. Tumor location and cellular structure help distinguish between subtypes and give doctors and patients a better understanding of how the disease may progress and respond to treatment.
Each subtype shares common defining characteristics, although each case may present differently.
Benign Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma (BMPM)
The benign multicysticperitoneal mesotheliomaalso referred to as benign cystic mesothelioma, is a subtype of benign peritoneal mesothelioma. This subtype develops in the abdominal or pelvic cavity and is distinguished by a high number of fluid-filled cysts.
Benign Multicystic Mesothelioma
- Age:Women of reproductive age
- Symptoms:chronic or recurrent pain in the abdomen or pelvis, abdominal distention, palpable mass.
- Risk factors:endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and prior abdominal surgery.
As with all forms of benign mesothelioma, the main treatment is surgery. However, for BMPM, other methods are used to reduce the recurrence rate, which can be as high as 50%. These methods include hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy and anti-estrogen therapy. Even with recurrence, these tumors rarely become malignant or incurable.
Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma (WDPM)
Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is a slow-growing subtype of benign mesothelioma that is often discovered incidentally during surgery or examination for other reasons. In some cases, malignant mesothelial cells have also been found in the tumor, even though it is usually benign.
Highly Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma
- Age:Reproductive age
- Location:Abdomen (most common), lungs or heart (rare)
- Symptoms:abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, palpable seals.
- Risk factors:asbestos exposure, endometriosis, prior surgery.
While there are symptoms to look out for in this form of mesothelioma, many cases are asymptomatic and discovered incidentally. Recurrences of WDPM are rare, although the possibility of recurrence as malignancy is possible, and long-term monitoring and follow-up are usually included in the patient’s treatment plan.
Benign Adenomatoid Mesothelioma
Benign adenomatoid tumors grow slowly and are often asymptomatic. However, some patients with a benign adenomatoid tumor of the pleural may experience localized chest pain. Most benign adenomatoid tumors are discovered incidentally on x-ray or during surgery for unrelated conditions.
Benign Adenomatoid Tumors
- Gender:men and women
- Age:young to middle age
- Location:Reproductive organs
- Symptoms:Usually absent, but it is possible to see irregular menstruation or masses in the abdomen or pelvis.
- Risk factors:No factors have been identified.
Based on accumulated case studies, adenomatoid tumors are unlikely to recur or lead to malignancy. After complete excision, patients can usually expect a normal life expectancy.
Localized Fibrous Mesothelioma
Localized fibroids are often referred to in the literature as LFTs. This benign form is also extremely rare and affects both men and women. About half of reported cases are asymptomatic, while others have identifiable symptoms.
- Gender:men and women
- Age:55-60 years old
- Symptoms:difficulty breathing, chest pain, chronic cough.
- Risk factors: No risk factors are known.
After a successful surgical resection, the survival result for this subtype is quite favorable. One study revealed that in 100% of patients of this kind of benign tumor, there was no recurrence following surgical excision.
If cancerous tumors return, there is cause for concern. Even after complete resections, the recurrence rate of malignant solitary fibrous tumors of thepleuralis 63%, and the majority of patients with recurring malignancies pass away within two years. As mentioned earlier, although benign, long-term monitoring is needed to detect any potential malignancies.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The general symptoms of benign mesothelioma can often resemble those of malignant mesothelioma. However, as noted above, the frequency and type of symptoms may vary by subtype. Benign subtypes may have additional symptoms not characteristic of the cancerous form and may help make an accurate diagnosis.
Many diagnoses of benign mesothelioma happen by accident when doctors refer to other conditions or diseases. In any case of mesothelioma, imaging tests are usually the first step in identifying the problem and may include x-rays, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Physicians will also take a medical history to determine potential risk factors,asbestos exposure, and current conditions. If a mass is identified as a mesothelioma tumor.
Treatment And Prognosis
Treatment is usually simple for patients with benign mesothelioma, consisting of curative surgery that completely removes the tumor. Surgery can have side effects that patients discuss with their doctor. If the tumor recurs as malignant or has grown to affect other organs, there may be additional treatment options to relieve symptoms or even palliative options. This is because the patient recovers.
Based on a positive response to curative treatment, patients generally expect a full recovery and an unchanged life expectancy. Additional risk factors, malignant recurrence, or existing health conditions may affect survival, so anyone faced with a diagnosis of mesothelioma may have a different prognosis. In all cases, long-term monitoring is needed, and more research is needed to obtain additional conclusive evidence, given the rarity of these subtypes and the lack of case studies.