Pleural Mesothelioma Stages
As the most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is the only form of this disease that has been given an official staging system.
Pleural mesothelioma has two important surgical treatments that can effectively remove mesothelioma if detected early enough — the extrapleural pneumonectomy and the pleurectomy with decortication.
Accurate staging of pleural mesothelioma is vital in determining whether or not a patient can undergo surgery to remove tumors.
Here are the four general stages of pleural mesothelioma based on the three staging systems used:
1A: Tumor is contained in one layer of the pleura, which is its primary location.
1B: Tumor is growing in both the parietal (outer) and visceral (inner) layers of the pleura.
The tumor has metastasized slightly to lung tissues or to the chest wall. There is possible lymph node involvement in stage 2, but the tumor has not yet spread to the other side of the chest.
Mesothelioma has metastasized to distant sites such as the deep tissues in the rib cage, the pericardium (heart lining) and/or the tissues in the chest wall beyond the pleura. Stage 3 also has lymph node involvement.
The final and most advanced stage, the fourth stage of mesothelioma involves metastasis to the other side of the chest or to nearby organs such as the heart or diaphragm. Because of lymph node involvement, mesothelioma can also spread to distant sites such as the brain or liver.
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