Staging is the process of finding out how far the mesothelioma has spread. Most staging systems divide malignant mesothelioma into four stages: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and Stage 4 mesothelioma. The stages are based on whether the mesothelioma can be treated or removed by surgery as well as the extent of lymph node involvement.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma and Its Implications
Stage 4 mesothelioma, the most advanced and final stage of the disease, means that the cancer cannot be removed surgically and is located in one or both sides of the body. In Stage 4 mesothelioma, the cancer may have spread in one of the following ways:
- To the chest wall and to the diaphragm
- Into the peritoneum
- Into the pleura on the opposite side of the body
- To the chest organs
- Through the inner layer of the covering of the heart
- To the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the body and above the collarbone
- To other parts of the body
Individuals with Stage 4 mesothelioma are in a stage of the disease that is considered inoperable.
Treatment Options for Stage 4 Mesothelioma
In general, the goal of treatment in Stage 4 mesothelioma is to manage pain and discomfort and make the patient as comfortable as possible. Treatments for Stage 4 mesothelioma may include chemotherapy, radiation, or multimodal (combination) treatment in conjunction with palliative care, which is focused on providing symptom relief.
Although not used frequently, surgery may still be an option for patients diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma. Debulking, or removal of cancerous tissue, has been shown to help improve breathing for patients with pleural mesothelioma.
Patients with Stage 4 mesothelioma may also be eligible to enroll in promising clinical trials. Clinical trials utilize new and innovative therapies that could possibly provide better treatment and outcomes than current treatments.
Get Justice for Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Do you have Stage 4 mesothelioma as a result of past asbestos exposure? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call Sokolove Law today at 1-888-360-4215 to see if a mesothelioma lawyer can help you.