Types of mesothelioma | Cancer Research UK
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Types of mesothelioma

Men and women discussing mesothelioma

This page tells you about the different types of mesothelioma. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Types of mesothelioma

There are 2 main types of mesothelioma

  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma

The pleural type grows in the tissues covering the lungs. The peritoneal type grows in the tissue lining the inside of the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma is much more common than peritoneal mesothelioma.

Cell types

Mesothelioma is also grouped according to how the cells look under a microscope. When mesothelioma is grouped this way, there are 3 types

  • Epithelioid
  • Sarcomatoid or fibrous
  • Mixed type (also called Biphasic type)

These types of mesothelioma cells can be further divided into other types called clear cell, small cell, acinar cell and tubopapillary cell.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the About mesothelioma section.

 

 

Where you can get mesothelioma

There are 2 main types of mesothelioma

  • Mesothelioma in the covering of the lung (pleural mesothelioma)
  • Mesothelioma in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma)

Pleural mesothelioma starts in the sheets of tissue that cover the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma grows in the tissue lining the inside of the abdomen (tummy). Pleural mesothelioma is much more common than peritoneal mesothelioma.

 

 

Mesothelioma by cell type

Mesothelioma is also grouped according to how the cells look under a microscope. There are 3 types

  • Epithelioid - this is the most common
  • Sarcomatoid or fibrous
  • Mixed type (also called biphasic type)

These types of mesothelioma cells can be further divided into other types called

  • Clear cell
  • Small cell
  • Acinar cell
  • Tubopapillary cell

There is information in this section about the types of tests you may have to diagnose mesothelioma and find out what type it is. For more information about mesothelioma, look at our page about what mesothelioma is.

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Updated: 10 November 2015