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While not considered one of the three main types of mesothelioma, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM) is another form of the condition. Found principally in premenopausal women between ages 30 and 40, it is generally non-invasive and is less of a threat than the other forms. In fact, it may not be related to asbestos exposure, the cause of the other forms of mesothelioma. WDPM has been discovered in women who have no history of interaction with the substance.
Still, WDPM isn't totally benign. Experts have realized that papillary mesothelioma can occur in a limited, low-grade form, such as benign tumors and mild malignant lesions. Calcium buildups can also be found in peritoneal papillary mesothelioma.
This disease typically begins in the lining of the stomach, although it can travel to other areas of the body. Accordingly, WDPM has sometimes been confused with cancers of the ovary or chest. Regardless of whether it spreads, WDPM often first shows as abdominal pain and fluid collections called effusions.
Because WDPM is less aggressive than other type of mesothelioma, the prognosis is typically much better. A French study involving 24 women with pleural papillary mesothelioma found that the average survival time was 74 months. A little more than one-third of the women studied survived at least 10 years.
Despite the positive prognosis, specific treatments are not widely available or common. As a result, oncologists generally use treatments employed to fight other forms of mesothelioma, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Following the procedures, patients should maintain regular follow-up examinations to make sure WDPM is being well managed.
If you're concerned that you might have WPDM, please visit your doctor. You can also educate yourself about the condition by filling out the form above. When you do, we'll send you a free informational packet filled with all the answers you need to stay informed and healthy.
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