In this article, we'll be discussing Pleural Mesothelioma Stages and what each stage means. Understanding these stages of pleural mesothelioma helps doctors to better know how to treat pleural mesothelioma patients, and possibly prevent it entirely.
There are four stages of pleural mesothelioma. These stages help doctors determine the proper ways how to treat pleural mesothelioma patients. Discover more about each stage of pleural mesothelioma with our overview below!
Pleural Mesothelioma Stage 1
The first stage of pleural mesothelioma is the earliest stage of the disease, and it can be diagnosed by CT scanning or chest X-ray. It's also called primary pleural thickening because it develops in the pleura—the thin membranes that cover your lungs and chest walls.
Stage 1 mesothelioma is usually diagnosed by a doctor after they see an abnormality on a person's chest x-ray.
There may not be any symptoms at this point; however, patients should talk to their doctors if they have any concerns about their health or notice any changes in how they feel or look during this time period.
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Pleural Mesothelioma Stage 2
Stage 2 is divided into stages 2A and 2B.
Stage 2A is divided into stages 2A1 and 2A2, while stage 2B is divided into stages 2B1 and 2B2.
Stage A1a includes:
- pleural thickening (thickening of the pleura layers), which may be visible on chest X-rays; this is caused by excess collagen in response to mesothelioma cells dying off and being absorbed by your body.
- pleural effusion (fluid collection in the pericardial sac). This can also be seen on chest X-rays as a dark spot near the heart that looks like an inverted “U” shape surrounded by air bubbles.
Pleural Mesothelioma Stage 3
The third stage of mesothelioma is usually the most common, with a prognosis of 3-5 years. This stage can be treated with surgery or chemotherapy.
Surgery to remove the tumor is generally considered a good option for patients who have experienced an aggressive form of the disease and are nearing death; however, some doctors recommend that you talk with your doctor first before deciding whether this treatment is right for you.
The chemotherapy drugs used in this stage include cisplatin (Platinum), carboplatin (Platinum II), etoposide (VP16), cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin (Adriamycin).
The radiation therapy given during this stage often involves external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy—in which radioactive seeds are placed inside your body via insertion into your chest wall through small incisions made along one side of your chest where there's little risk of damaging surrounding organs–and could also include intrapleural installations.
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Pleural Mesothelioma Stage 4
Stage 4 is the most advanced stage of pleural mesothelioma. It's also known as metastatic pleural mesothelioma, and it's characterized by a wide range of symptoms that can include:
- Weight loss
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain or pressure
FAQs on Pleural Mesothelioma Stages
There you have it, the four stages of pleural mesothelioma and what each stage means. At this point, it may seem like the rest of your life is about to change forever. But don't worry: there are ways to prevent, treat and manage pleural mesothelioma once it has been diagnosed.
With proper care from doctors and specialists alike, you can pursue the best possible outcomes for yourself and your family.
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