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Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma

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Staging describes or classifies cancer based on the amount of cancer present in the body and its location during the initial diagnosis. This is often called the extent of cancer. The information revealed by the examinations is used to determine the size of the tumor, which parts of the organ are affected by cancer, whether cancer has spread from its place of origin and where he has spread. Your healthcare team uses the stadium to plan your treatment and predict the outcome (your prognosis).

The pleural mesothelioma originates in the lining (membrane) forming a protective cushion around the lungs (called pleura). The most frequently used staging system for pleural mesothelioma is the TNM classification. In the case of this type of cancer, there are 4 stages.

The TNM classification is used to establish the stage of pleural mesothelioma only. There is no staging system for mesothelioma that appears in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) or for rare types of mesothelioma.

Stage 1A

Cancer is present in the lining of the chest wall (parietal pleura) or in the envelope covering the lung (visceral pleura) on the same side of the chest as the tumor.

Stage 1B

The cancer is present in the parietal pleura or in the visceral pleura on the same side of the thorax as the tumor. It has also spread to at least one of the following structures:

  • Diaphragm
  • Lung tissue

The cancer is present in the parietal pleura or in the visceral pleura on the same side of the thorax as the tumor. He invaded at least one of the following structures:

  • Connective tissue (fascia) forming part of the chest wall
  • Fat in the space between the lungs
  • Soft tissues of the chest wall (in one region)
  • Coating of the heart (pericardium) (without crossing it completely)

Stage 2

Cancer is present in the lining of the chest wall or in the envelope that covers the lung on the same side of the chest as the tumor. It may also have invaded at least one of the following structures:

  • Diaphragm
  • Lung tissue

Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes of the thorax, on the same side of the body as the tumor.

Stage 3A

The cancer is present in the parietal pleura or in the visceral pleura on the same side of the thorax as the tumor. He invaded at least one of the following structures:

  • Connective tissue forming part of the chest wall
  • Fat in the space between the lungs
  • Soft tissues of the chest wall (in one region)
  • Coating of the heart (without crossing it completely)

Cancer has also spread to the lymph nodes of the chest on the same side of the body as the tumor.

Stage 3B

Cancer is present in the lining of the chest wall or in the envelope that covers the lung on the same side of the chest as the tumor. It may also have invaded at least one of the following structures:

  • Diaphragm
  • Lung tissue
  • Connective tissue forming part of the chest wall
  • Fat in the space between the lungs
  • Soft tissues of the chest wall (in one region)
  • Coating of the heart (without crossing it completely)

Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest as the tumor.

Stage 4

In stage IV mesothelioma cancer has spread to other parts of the body (distant metastases), such as the lung on the other side of the body, liver or bones. There is also talk of metastatic pleural mesothelioma cancer.

Mesothelioma recurrence

The recurrence of mesothelioma means that cancer recurs as a result of the treatment. It can reappear in a part of the body where mesothelioma begins, such as the pleura, peritoneum, pericardium or envelope covering the testicles. If it reappears at the place where it first arose, it is local recidivism. If it reappears in tissues or lymph nodes near where it first originated, it is called regional recurrence. It can also reappear in another part of the body: it is called recurrence or distant metastasis.

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