Stages of Mesothelioma
Upon a confirmed diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, your doctor will evaluate the stage of the disease. Physicians may conduct CT (computer tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to assess the progression of the disease and appropriate treatment. The four stages of mesothelioma are:
- Stage 1: The tumor is found in the pleura with or without some involvement of the lung, pericardium (lining of the heart), or diaphragm.
- Stage 2: The tumor is found in a stage 1 location, plus involvement of some lymph nodes in the chest.
- Stage 3: The tumor has extended into the chest wall, ribs, or heart, through the diaphragm, or into the peritoneum (the abdominal lining). There may be involvement of the lymph nodes.
- Stage 4: The tumor has spread through the bloodstream to distant sites.
Medical professionals rely on diagnostic imaging to determine how far mesothelioma has spread in a person. Some of the specific tests that medical professionals use to determine exactly how far the disease has spread include:
- CT Scans: Computer tomography (CT) scans generate several X-ray images to make a single 3D image of a person’s chest or stomach.
- MRI Scan: Medical professionals use magnetic resonance imaging to determine if mesothelioma has spread from a person’s lungs to their chest walls or the internal linings of other vital organs.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: PET scans are used to determine if mesothelioma has spread to other body parts. Medical professionals sometimes even use this method to determine if a tumor has spread to lymph nodes from the site where the mesothelioma first arose.
The symptoms associated with mesothelioma grow worse as the condition spreads through a person’s body. Most medical professionals divide metastatic symptoms into the category of either early or advanced stages. During the early stages of mesothelioma, the condition feels comparable to other medical conditions that affect the lungs. Some of the conditions that people experience at early stages of the condition include difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever, persistent coughing, and weight loss. Some of the symptoms associated with the advanced conditions of mesothelioma include coughing up blood, difficulty swallowing, increased fatigue, and night sweats.What Next?
The treatment options depend on the stage of the disease. Medical advances have significantly increased life expectancy and quality of life, but mesothelioma is still ultimately fatal. The earlier the cancer is detected, the more likely that a person’s life can be extended by months or even years with surgery, radiation, or drugs. In later stages, as the cancer is widespread, medical care focuses on pain management and patient care to make life as comfortable as possible.
Our founding attorney, Michael Throneberry, has personal experience with mesothelioma. His father-in-law succumbed to the disease after a long and brave battle, and Mr. Throneberry has experienced firsthand the devastation this diagnosis can bring upon a family. Since then, he has devoted his law practice to advocating for others with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.We Help Clients Nationwide
Call us toll-free at 888-506-1131 for a free consultation. Our lawyers and staff are here to provide both legal help and compassionate support to victims and their families.