Epithelial (or epithelioid) mesothelioma is the most common histological type of mesothelioma. Epithelial mesothelioma is a subtype – both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma may be epithelial or sarcamatoid or biphasic (including both cell types.)
Epithelial mesothelioma has a better prognosis than other subtypes. Average life expectancy after diagnosis is longer.
As with all types of mesothelioma, asbestos is the cause. Most people who get it are men past age 50, although it does occur in younger people and in women. This is largely because the illness typically does not manifest until decades after initial asbestos exposure. A significant percentage of patients diagnosed at relatively younger age have experienced asbestos exposure during their childhood. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of mesothelioma cases involve a male patient. This is due to the fact that men are more likely to be employed at jobs that have a heightened risk for asbestos exposure. Common industries linked to asbestos inhalation include construction, auto repair, shipbuilding and naval employment.