Mesothelioma - Stages of the Disease
This month we will cover two sides of mesothelioma: the legal attributes and the medical attributes. Each side of this disease can be heavily daunting. One side of the coin gives you a diagnosis that in a large majority of the cases is fatal within 2 years. There are many obstacles to cover to prolong life and protect and preserve the quality of life that remains. The other side of the coin represents the law and the illegal exposure to asbestos that was the cause of your deadly illness. Most will want to legally pursue options to hold the parties of this exposure responsible and go after monetary compensation.
Your first inclination about asbestos-related illness will come from a medical diagnosis. Most people are devastated and do not know exactly where to begin. Finding a medical professional or specialist near you will be your first priority. Your next priority will be understanding the legal implications of the negligence of others afflicting you with a deadly disease and you will want to take legal recourse.
Both sides of this coin represent a battle – each with specific steps and understandings you must comprehend and master in order to win the war. This months’ blogs will help to empower you with information to cover both fronts.
For every patient diagnosed with mesothelioma stages of the disease will be defined by a doctor. The stage of cancer will help determine what course of treatment may best suit you. As you will learn below, depending upon the stage of the cancer, different therapies including radiation, surgery or chemotherapy are recommended to either remedy the cancer or to manage pain for the patient. It is important to find an experienced medical center and staff to make sure you are receiving the best care.
Stage one signifies that the metastasis is limited. Depending upon when the cancer is diagnosed, it could be limited to a specific area of the body. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, it could be limited to the outer pleura which is the lining of the chest wall.
Stage two normally involves a localized tumor that has not started to spread to other areas within the body. Cancer cells have started to spread to the organs associated with the type of mesothelioma or to the lymph nodes.
Stage three is when the tumor has spread throughout one side of the body. It has invaded either the lungs, peritoneum in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma or the nearby lymph nodes. Diagnosis in this stage is still better than stage four as the patients’ individual health can help them survive longer.
Stage four is when there has been extensive metastasis other than in the area of the primary tumor. Most likely, cancer cells have invaded sections of most organs. An average survival rate in this stage is 12 months.