Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma

Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is a very rare type of mesothelioma in which large tumors grow in the lining of the abdomen. It almost always starts there, in an area known as the peritoneum. However, unlike more common forms of peritoneal mesothelioma, the condition is usually benign. Tumors can cause fluid buildup and abdominal pain along with other symptoms, but the general prognosis for well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma treatment is positive when compared to other forms of mesothelioma. More common in women than men, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is often diagnosed when patients are in their 50s or 60s. It is not always linked to asbestos, although many of the reported cases are believed to have been caused by asbestos exposure.


Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, as it resembles some other cancers, and patients don’t experience symptoms for years. To make a positive diagnosis, physicians will look at tumor cells under a microscope. Typically, the cells will be epithelioid, which respond well to treatment. Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma will not be staged during this process, as it’s a rare type of mesothelioma, and no one staging process exists.

Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Treatment options vary greatly and are dependent on a number of factors, including the age and general health of the patient. Unlike some other forms of mesothelioma, surgery to remove tumors is usually an option. Afterward, patients often pursue a course of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Regular follow-ups will continue throughout the rest of the patient’s life to ensure that the cancer does not return. However, it’s important to note that because so few cases of well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma exist, there is no standard course of treatment.

Given that notion, patients need to discuss treatment options with their doctors to ensure that the disease is being treated appropriately. With treatment, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma can have a very positive prognosis and is considered to be one of the most treatable forms of mesothelioma. The 10-year survival rate of the disease is over 30 percent, which is much higher than with many other forms of mesothelioma. However, prognosis will also vary on a case-by-case basis. It’s best to speak with a mesothelioma specialist and to approach each case individually.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma, it’s important to learn about the disease and to pursue a second opinion as soon as possible. We can help you explore treatment options and other resources that can help you face this condition or another form of asbestos-related cancer.

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