Mesothelioma does not occur immediately after asbestos exposure. It can take up to 60 years for mesothelioma to develop. Unfortunately, while the development of mesothelioma begins slowly, once tumors form, they tend to spread rather quickly. When mesothelioma tumors metastasize (spread), they move from their original location to other body parts. Because of how quickly mesothelioma can spread through the body, it is considered an aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately, once mesothelioma tumors have metastasized, treatment options become more limited.
So, how quickly does mesothelioma spread? Exactly how quickly mesothelioma progresses in the body is dependent on several factors. Mesothelioma metastasis is influenced by, among other factors, cell type, cancer stage, and response to treatment.
There are different types of mesothelioma cells. How quickly mesothelioma spreads through the body depends on whether the tumors contain sarcomatoid or epithelial cells. Tumors with a sarcomatoid makeup are generally more aggressive than tumors with an epithelial makeup. Tumors with a sarcomatoid makeup typically reduce time to life expectancy.
The main reason sarcomatoid cells are more aggressive than epithelial cells is that they adhere to each other more strongly than epithelial cells do. Because epithelial cells do not adhere to each other strongly, they are less likely to separate from the tumor and move to other body parts.
The cancer stage is one of the most crucial factors that can help indicate how it will progress over time. When mesothelioma reaches stage 3 or 4, it tends to metastasize more quickly. When mesothelioma is at stage 1 or 2, there is usually no or minimal metastasis. If a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma at stage 1 or 2, they can have a much better survival time. When mesothelioma reaches stage 3 or 4, treating it becomes more difficult. At stage 3 or 4, treatment is limited to palliative, symptom-controlling care.
Response to Treatment
When a patient starts receiving mesothelioma treatment after being diagnosed at an early stage, they generally have a reduced risk of the tumor spreading to other body parts if they respond well to treatment. However, if a patient begins treatment after being diagnosed with mesothelioma at an early stage but they do not respond well to treatment, they will still face the risk of quick metastasis.
Surgery can reduce the risk of mesothelioma spreading to other body parts. When a mesothelioma patient undergoes surgery, cancer cells and tumors that may result in the cancer spreading are removed.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also prevent mesothelioma from spreading to other body parts. When they do not prevent metastasis, chemotherapy and radiation therapy will likely reduce it.
Recovering Compensation After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A mesothelioma diagnosis is usually followed by substantial medical expenses, travel expenses, and more. Fortunately, a mesothelioma patient may qualify for compensation by filing a claim against a liable party or liable parties. In a mesothelioma claim, the defendant is usually the individual or company that caused the patient to suffer asbestos exposure.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.