Hyperplasia is a medical term used to describe abnormal cell growth, and when it appears in the cells of the mesothelium it is referred to as mesothelial hyperplasia. Though mesothelial hyperplasia is a benign condition, physicians and pathologists have had a very difficult time in distinguishing between it and malignant mesothelioma. They have also found that patients diagnosed with mesothelial hyperplasia are at high risk for being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in the future.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelial hyperplasia and you have a known history of exposure to asbestos, there is a good reason for you to be vigilant about future symptoms and follow-up with physicians experienced in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. You also need legal advice regarding the resources available to you.
Mesothelial Hyperplasia: Is it Malignant Mesothelioma In Situ?
Mesothelial hyperplasia can be found on any mesothelial surface in the body, including the mesothelium of the pleura and the peritoneum, where malignant mesothelioma is most frequently found. The proliferation of mesothelial cells is thought to be a benign reaction to another condition that is something later realized to have been malignant mesothelioma in situ.
“In Situ” is a medical term that describes a cancerous growth or tumor that is still in the position from which it originates, and that has not yet begun to metastasize. This cancer that is in situ is limited to the epithelial cells. Mesothelial hyperplasia is frequently suspected to be malignant mesothelioma in situ because it cannot be easily differentiated from the disease from a sample of pleural effusion, yet is not thought to warrant a full tissue biopsy.
Without a diagnosis of cancer, physicians who diagnose mesothelial hyperplasia in their patients are limited to taking a wait and see position, observing patients to see whether their symptoms evolve into those of overt malignancy. Sometimes this does not happen at all, but in many cases, a mesothelioma diagnosis will be made within a matter of months.
This is particularly true for those who have a known history of exposure to asbestos.
Is Mesothelial Hyperplasia Always Malignant Mesothelioma?
It is important for you to understand that not every diagnosis of mesothelial hyperplasia is an automatic diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. A recent comparison of survival rates between patients that were diagnosed with atypical mesothelial hyperplasia and those who were specifically diagnosed with mesothelioma showed that sixty percent of those with hyperplasia were still alive three years later. Of the group that had been diagnosed with mesothelioma, only fifteen percent of patients were still alive.
Remaining Vigilant in the Face of Mesotheliomial HyperplasiaIf you know that you have a history of exposure to asbestos, your care plan should include continued vigilance and monitoring of your conditions. If you are not certain about your history with asbestos, you may benefit from a conversation with our professional staff. We can review your history to see whether you might have unknowingly worked with as asbestos-contaminated product or in an asbestos-contaminated environment. If you have worked with or near asbestos, we can advise you of your rights to compensation and how to get help with your medical expenses and more.
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