Papillary Mesothelioma

Papillary mesothelioma is a much less aggressive cell type compared to sarcomatoid mesothelioma and other cancerous cell types. This type of cancer does not typically spread to other parts of the body like other cancers can. 

How Does Papillary Mesothelioma Develop? 

This type of mesothelioma tumor develops primarily in women, specifically in the abdominal area.

This cancer is slow moving and does not typically spread to other parts of the body as a metastatic cancer. 

There are some other places the cancer can be found in the body, such as the lining of the lungs, or the pleura, the pericardium (lining of the heart), and the lining of the testes. Again, this is possible and highly uncommon. 

It is possible for these tumors to become cancerous mesothelioma over time, but in the state they are in, they are not as harmful as other cells. 

Is Asbestos Involved? 

Unlike many types of mesothelioma, researchers have not concluded that this type of mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. Most of the patients who are diagnosed with papillary mesothelioma have never been exposed to asbestos. The cause of this type of mesothelioma is quite a mystery at this point. 


Symptoms of papillary mesothelioma are actually not very common, but in cases where there are symptoms, there is pain associated with excess fluid build-up in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. 

Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma

WDPM are technically cancerous cells, but they grow at such a slow rate that they practically multiply at a similar rate to normal cells. This type of cancer does not have a danger of invading other parts of the body or becoming metastatic. 

The tumors associated with papillary mesothelioma are very, very small. Usually these tumors are no more than 1 centimeter. 

Misdiagnosis of Papillary Mesothelioma

Since this is a very rare form of cancer that almost never causes any noticeable symptoms, it can be incredibly hard to locate and diagnose. Usually, papillary mesothelioma is discovered accidentally during a surgery. Otherwise, the patient would have never known about the very small tumors. 

A few of the other diagnoses that doctor’s may confuse papillary mesothelioma for include: reactive mesothelial hyperplasia, adenomatoid tumors, peritoneal carcinomatosis, tuberculous peritonitis, serous papillary carcinoma of the ovary, or papillary carcinoma of the peritoneum. 


With such a rare diagnosis, there is not a lot of research about papillary mesothelioma in general, and much less about how to treat it. Typically, it is approached the same way most forms of mesothelioma are: with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery when deemed necessary. 

Your best course of action to ensure the best possible prognosis is to maintain your overall health. Make it a priority to have a well-balanced diet and exercise regimen, keeping your body and overall immune system healthy during treatment.

If you experience any abnormal health issues or anything out of the ordinary, it’s always best to consult your doctor to ensure you get the best treatment as quickly as possible.