Most instances of mesothelioma may be classified into one of four stages by doctors. The deeper the illness has advanced over the body, the higher the mesothelioma stage. The only kind of mesothelioma with a recognised staging system is pleural mesothelioma. Doctors can still see how far tumours have progressed in people with different types of cancer.
What Are Mesothelioma’s Four Stages?
Mesothelioma tumours appear decades after asbestos exposure in the linings of the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles. As the condition progresses, the tumours may spread throughout the body. Doctors may typically estimate how far the tumours have progressed and determine the stage of cancer when making a mesothelioma diagnosis.
A crucial part of the diagnosis process is determining the stage of mesothelioma.
The stage of mesothelioma indicates the size of the tumours and how far they have spread (metastasized) in a patient (metastasized). To choose the most effective treatment for the patient, a doctor must analyse the stage of mesothelioma. The patient’s prognosis and life expectancy are also affected by the stage. In general, the better the prognosis, the smaller the stage.
MESOTHELIOMA IN STAGE 1
Malignant cells are localised, which means they are concentrated in one area. They are contained in the pleura, or lung lining, and have not spread to other parts of the body or tissues. Pleural mesothelioma is difficult to identify at stage 1 since the symptoms aren’t always obvious. Stage 1 mesothelioma typically has no symptoms and is mistakenly diagnosed when a practitioner uses scans or x-rays to look for another illness. Pleural mesothelioma stage 1 is the start of the cancer journey. Initially, tumour growth takes place in a single area.
Because there is no known therapy for mesothelioma, the disease will expand over time. Usually, a patient with stage 1 mesothelioma can prolong his or her life expectancy using therapy. Compared to those who have more severe stages of pleural mesothelioma, patients diagnosed with stage 1 have the best chance of surviving longer. The average survival time for stage 1 pleural mesothelioma is 1 to 22 months, however many patients have lived much longer because of excellent treatments.
MESOTHELIOMA IN STAGE 2
Cancer has spread to one of the lungs, lymph nodes, and most likely the diaphragm. Although stage 2 pleural mesothelioma shows signs of spreading, cancer will still only affect one lung. When the tumour starts to affect the lung, it may cause breathing issues, chest pain, or a cough. A patient diagnosed with stage 2 mesothelioma has the same prognosis and life expectancy as a patient diagnosed with stage 1. Patients at stage 2 are eligible for treatments like surgery and chemotherapy that may help them live longer.
MESOTHELIOMA IN STAGE 3
Cancer has expanded to surrounding tissues such as the belly, chest wall, and chest cavity, and has metastasized. In stage 3, the patient may experience more severe pleural mesothelioma symptoms, such as a persistent cough, breathing difficulties, wheezing, chest tightness, fever, night sweats, or weight loss. With surgery, a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma might expect to live for 3 to 19 months.
MESOTHELIOMA IN STAGE 4
Cancer has spread extensively across the chest, abdomen, neck, bones, organs, tissues, and lymph nodes. Stage 4 has the most severe symptoms and the most limited treatment options for the patient. Severe breathing issues, trouble eating and swallowing, severe chest pain, lack of appetite, significant weight loss, muscle weakness, nerve discomfort, fever, tiredness, and night sweats are all symptoms of stage 4 pleural mesothelioma. In most cases, a patient diagnosed with stage 4 has a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months.