Stages of Mesothelioma
There are many different mesothelioma treatment options, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though procedures have not changed much since the 1980s, recent advances in medicine have, in some cases, helped to extend a patient’s life by months.
Procedures to fight mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as well as enrollment in a clinical trial designed to explore the effectiveness of the most modern treatment options. More often, doctors employ a combination of these procedures that are tailored to the patient’s condition and the stage that the disease is in.
Stage I means the cancer is confined to specific areas of the body, has not spread, and can sometimes be removed surgically or through other procedures. The patient, for example, may benefit by participation in a clinical trial that research hospitals often schedule to test the effectiveness of a promising new anticancer drug.
Stages II and III signifies that the cancer has advanced and that a cure is usually not likely. Treatment options during these stages concentrate on relieving painful symptoms normally associated with mesothelioma.
Stage IV signifies that the cancer has spread to other tissues or organs of the body and that a cure is not possible. Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used to diminish painful symptoms. In some cases, participation in a clinical trial will allow the patient to benefit from the most up-to-date science. Though a cure is not expected, diligent treatment procedures have been known to extend a patient’s life by several months.