What are the different types of mesothelioma and pleural disease?

There are several different types of mesothelioma or pleural disease. These include:
  • Benign and malignant primary tumors of the pleural space
  • Empyema
  • Hemothorax
  • Mesothelioma, which includes the subtypes epithelioid, sarcomatoid, biphasic and desmoplastic
  • Metastatic cancers to the pleural space
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleurisy
  • Pneumothorax
There are several cancers that can spread to the lung or pleural space. These cancers present a challenge for healthcare teams. Some of the cancers that have been known to spread to the pleura include colon cancer, breast cancer, thymic cancer and sarcomas.

While mesothelioma is the most common primary tumor of the pleural space, other tumors of the pleural space include:
  • Adenomatoid tumor
  • Benign solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura
  • Calcifying fibrous tumor
  • Desmoids tumor
  • Lipomatous tumors
  • Multicystic mesothelioma
  • Nodular pleural plaque
  • Pleural thymoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Simple mesothelial cysts
  • Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma
Uncommon primary pleural neoplasms can mimic each other, as well as mimic metastatic cancers to the pleura and diffuse malignant mesothelioma. Correct diagnosis is important because of differing treatment options for the various tumors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.