Once the diagnosis of mesothelioma has been confirmed, the stage of the disease must be evaluated. Special testing, such as CT scans or MRI scans, are used to determine the progression of the disease and help the physician determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Mesothelioma has four stages:
Stage 1: A malignant tumor is found in the pleura with or without the involvement of lung tissue, diaphragm tissue or pericardial tissue.
Stage 2: A malignant tumor is found in the same location as stage 1, but the lymph nodes in the chest are also involved.
Stage 3: A malignant tumor is found to have extended into the wall of the chest, the heart or the ribs, through the diaphragm or into the lining of the abdomen. There may or may not be lymph node involvement.
Stage 4: The cancer has traveled through the bloodstream and has spread (metastasized) to other sites in the body.
What To Do Next
The treatment options that are available greatly depend on which stage the disease is found to be in. Over the years, advances in medical treatment have greatly increased the life expectancy as well as the quality of life of a mesothelioma patient, but unfortunately, the disease is still fatal. The earlier that mesothelioma is detected, the better the prognosis. When the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body, medical treatment focuses mostly on managing pain and making the patient comfortable in end of life care.
The founding attorney of the Throneberry Law Group, Michael Throneberry, has intimate knowledge of mesothelioma from his own personal experiences with the disease. His father in law lost his life to mesothelioma in 2004, and has experienced the burden that being a caregiver to someone in the last stages of life. Since his father passed away, Michael has devoted his time and effort into advocating for other victims of asbestos related diseases and mesothelioma.
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