Mesothelioma has 4 stages of development, each stage coming with its treatment issues and symptoms getting worse with every new stage. If left untreated, or if treatment methods performed on the patient are not positive, mesothelioma is free to reach the fourth stage of development.
The Butchart staging system
Besides the TNM staging system which takes into consideration the size of the Tumor, the nearby lymph Nodes -wether they were touched by the tumor or not- and Metastasis, which is a newer method of staging, one of the most popular staging systems is the so called Butchart staging system. The system works this way: it measures the size and distance between tumors, and based on those numbers, doctors are able to correctly stage mesothelioma. The Butchart staging system splits the development of mesothelioma in four distinct stages.
Symptoms and changes of stage 4 mesothelioma cancer
The following is a list of symptoms and changes that a patient with stage IV mesothelioma cancer may encounter:
- a patient with stage 4 mesothelioma will experience extreme levels of pain in the areas affected by cancer, and will require large doses of painkillers and symptomatic relievers
- the cancer has advanced and reached the blood stream, being able to spread throughout the body
- mesothelioma has spread to the chest wall lining, the pleura, lymph nodes on both sides and is covering one entire lung, and starting to spread to other one
- mesothelioma will start spreading to the brain, liver and even the heart of the patient
The prognosis for a patient in stage IV of mesothelioma is not positive at all. At this point mesothelioma doctors will try any kind of drug to stop the cancer from reaching other parts of the body. Drugs used include ALIMTA, one of the newest and most effective drugs available, and Platinol, a platinum based drug that works well in stopping or at least slowing the cancers development throughout the body. If the patient doesn't react to that kind of treatment it usually means that the cancer will allow the person to live no longer than a month.
Doctors advise people that live in high asbestos exposure areas to have tests taken at least once each year, and if they notice symptoms close to the ones that are associated with mesothelioma have a doctor see them as soon as possible because discovering cancer in its early stages means that the patient has a chance of being cured.
Feel free to contact asbestosis and mesothelioma centers if you have any kind of questions about mesothelioma and the stages it develops in. You may also have other questions regarding mesothelioma and may want to find more about asbestos diseases. So please, contact us, it is absolutely free.