Doctors use mesothelioma staging systems to describe the severity of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma staging systems also give medical professionals a common language to exchange information about patients, evaluate the results of clinical trials, and compare trial results.
If you have mesothelioma, knowing the stage of your tumor will help your doctor:
- Determine the appropriate treatment for you
- Estimate your prognosis
- Identify clinical trials that may be suitable for you
Common Elements of Mesothelioma Staging Systems
Although there are three different mesothelioma staging systems, they all have the following elements in common:
- Location of the primary tumor
- Number and size of tumors
- Whether any lymph nodes are involved
- Cell type and tumor grade (how tumor cells appear under a microscope)
- Whether or not the mesothelioma has spread
Mesothelioma Staging Systems: The Butchart System
The Butchart mesothelioma staging system classifies mesothelioma as follows:
- In Stage I, mesothelioma is in one side of the pleura and possibly the diaphragm on that side.
- In Stage II, mesothelioma is in the chest wall, both sides of the pleura, the heart, or the esophagus. Lymph nodes in the chest may also be involved.
- In Stage III, mesothelioma is in the diaphragm and peritoneum. Lymph nodes beyond the chest may also be affected.
- In Stage IV, mesothelioma has spread to other parts of the body.
Mesothelioma Staging Systems: The TNM System
The TNM mesothelioma staging system assigns stages to each of three tumor properties:
- Primary tumor size (T) and how far it has spread to nearby organs
- Spread to nearby lymph nodes (N)
- Metastasis (M)
The TNM mesothelioma staging system assigns categories and numbers to determine the overall stages of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients with lower stage numbers have a better likelihood of recovery from the disease or a better chance at long-term survival.
Mesothelioma Staging Systems: The Brigham System
The Brigham mesothelioma staging system is based on whether the tumor can be removed by surgery and whether any lymph nodes are affected:
- Stage I: Operable tumor; lymph nodes not involved.
- Stage II: Operable tumor but lymph nodes are involved.
- Stage III: Inoperable tumor; mesothelioma has spread into the chest wall or heart, through the diaphragm, or into the abdominal cavity. Lymph nodes beyond the chest may be involved.
- Stage IV: Mesothelioma has metastasized into other areas of the body.
If you have mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, but statutes of limitations apply. To protect your right to a claim and to get the legal help you need, call Sokolove Law today at 1-888-360-4215.