What are mesothelioma treatment stages?
Mesothelioma treatment stages correspond with stages of the disease, or the advancement of the cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) defines mesothelioma staging as the process of determining how far a cancer has progressed. Treatment and prognosis (outlook) at each stage depends on how far it has metastasized. Doctors will determine the mesothelioma treatment stages of patients by conducting tests such as physical exams, biopsies and imaging tests.
The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system is the most commonly used of all mesothelioma staging systems. The letters indicate three separate pieces of information, defined by ACS as follows:
- T indicates the extent of spread of the main (primary) tumor.
- N describes how much the cancer has spread to nearby (regional) lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped collections of immune system cells to which cancers often spread first.
- M indicates whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs of the body. (The most common sites are the pleura on the other side of the body, the lungs, and the peritoneum.)
Numbers or letters appear after T, N, and M to provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced.
Potential Options for Different Mesothelioma Treatment Stages
Stage 1: Surgery may be performed in an attempt to cure the cancer. This type of surgery may be an option for patients who are in otherwise good health and the cancer has not spread too far to be removed completely. Palliative surgery may be an option if the tumor has already spread beyond the mesothelium and is difficult to remove completely, or if a patient is too ill for a more extensive operation. For more, see stage 1 mesothelioma treatment stages.
Stage 2 and Stage 3: Much like stage 1 treatments, surgery is often performed to remove as much of the tumor as possible. However, because the cancer has usually spread to the diaphragm – and sometimes the lining of the heart – surgery performed at these stages is to relieve or prevent symptoms, as opposed to trying to cure the cancer. For more, see stage 2 mesothelioma treatment stages and stage 3 mesothelioma treatment stages.
Stage 4: Mesothelioma therapy for stage 4 mesothelioma may be more aggressive or invasive than treatments for less advanced stages. Surgery may be performed in an attempt to minimize symptoms and maximize comfort. For more, see stage 4 mesothelioma treatment stages.
Mesothelioma Treatment Stages: Legal Help
If you or a loved one is suffering from any of the mesothelioma treatment stages, you may be entitled to a settlement. Call Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.