Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma, commonly abbreviated as WDPM, is a very rare type of mesothelioma in which large tumors grow in the lining of the abdomen. It almost always starts in the lining of the abdomen, which is known as the peritoneum, but unlike more common forms of peritoneal mesothelioma, it’s usually benign. Tumors can cause fluid buildups 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. Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is most common among women, although it can also affect men. Unlike some other forms of mesothelioma, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is not always linked to asbestos, although many of the reported cases are believed to have been caused by asbestos exposure.
Read more in the book “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide“
By definition, WDPM cells are epithelioid. This is a relatively common cancer cell type that responds well to treatment. WDPM can be difficult to diagnose, as it resembles some other cancers. To make a positive diagnosis, physicians will look at tumor cells under a microscope. WDPM will not be staged at diagnosis, as it’s a rare type of mesothelioma and no uniform staging process exists. However, as it’s mainly benign, prognosis is generally positive as compared to other forms of mesothelioma. WDPM may not show symptoms for years, and although it often forms in relatively young women, it’s often diagnosed when patients are in their 50s or 60s. The age of the patient can affect prognosis and treatment.