Pleural Mesothelioma is one of the most deadly cancers. It is so much pain and affects the victim in 4 stages. Regarding the treatments, these stages play an important role. As we proceed towards the next step, life expectancy goes on decreasing.
In the United States, every year, we get 2000 new patients with mesothelioma. Most of these are in the second stage of mesothelioma.
The four stages mentioned above are follows:
Table of Contents
Stage 1 of Pleural Mesothelioma :
At this stage, we get maximum life expectancy. Cancer belongs to one part of the body like the lungs or abdomen. Almost all the treatment options are available at this stage.
We can say that mesothelioma at this stage acts as a silent killer. There are no significant symptoms visible at this stage. Most of the patients are unable to detect mesothelioma at this stage. Pain in chest and some difficulty in breathing are symptoms for phase 1.
Following are the treatment options available at the stage 1 :
- Radiation Therapy
Most doctors prefer surgery as the first option. They try to remove the maximum of the tumor with surgery. At the early stage, cancer links to the lining of one lung. So, it is easier for doctors to remove that tumor.
The average life expectancy at this stage is, on average, 22 months.
Stage 2 of Pleural Mesothelioma :
Here is the stage where most of the patients detect some signs of mesothelioma. Tumor expands beyond the one lining of the lung. In some cases, mesothelioma cells are outside of the pleura. Curative surgery is a better option in this regard.
At this stage, patients can survive up to two years without any kind of treatment. Approximately 53 % of phase 2 patients have a life expectancy of five years. This is possible if they receive aggressive treatments like surgery associated with heated chemotherapy.
- Pain in chest
- Difficulty in breathing
- Pressure in chest
- Loss of appetite
- Loss in weight
At this stage, cancer tries to suppress the chest of the victim. So, there is an enormous pain in the chest.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are good options at this stage. Still, your doctor will make decide whether to use these as a single treatment or as an integrated treatment.
Extrapleural Pneumonectomy is an advanced treatment option. It has increased the life expectancy of the patients for up to five years. As the spread of cancer is within specified limits, surgery is still an option available for doctors.
Stage 3 of Pleural Mesothelioma :
In this advanced stage of mesothelioma, the tumor occupies the space throughout the pleura. Diagnosis of step 3 mesothelioma means the cancer is difficult to treat and has spread throughout the lungs.
Unfortunately, most of the mesothelioma patients affected with this cancer are in stage 3 or stage 4. The most common reason for this is the rarity of disease and difficulty in diagnosing.
- Breath Shortness
- Chest Pain
- Dry Cough
At stage 3, treatment options become so limited. Treatment options become scarce as the tumor grows further. Doctors, first of all, use treatments like chemotherapy and Radiation therapy. They try to remove the maximum amount of tumor as possible. Later these treatments are associated with surgery.
Complete survival at this stage is difficult. Doctors can extend the lifetime up to 18 months.
Stage 4 of Pleural Mesothelioma :
Stage 4 of Pleural mesothelioma is the worst stage of mesothelioma. In this stage, cancer spreads to distant body organs from its original location. Most of the patients are in this stage. The simple reason is that mesothelioma has a long latency period, and symptoms get severe after some decades from exposure to asbestos.
- Night Sweats
- Chest Pain
- Weight loss
- Swelling of abdomen
- Pain in abdomen
Limited treatment options are available at this stage. But, most of the treatments focus upon relieving the pain.
Surgery options are not active at this stage as the tumor has occupied different body locations. Chemotherapy is best to kill some of the cancer cells, but this cannot be an entire treatment option.
Only some alternative treatments can be useful to improve the quality of life.
If someone from your family or relative has been detected with mesothelioma or asbestosis, mesotheliomafund is providing a great service in that case. They are helping many patients in finding the correct treatment for this disease. We all need to support mesothelioma patients in any way possible for us.