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Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Stage 4 mesothelioma is the most advanced phase of the disease. Within Stage 4, the cancer has dispersed beyond the initial area, and the prognosis is very poor. The life expectancy of patients diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma is typically a year or less.
The most noteworthy attribute of Stage 4 mesothelioma is that the cancer has dispersed beyond its point of origin. This circumstance, known as metastasis, means that cancerous cells can be found throughout the body, including in lymph nodes and body organs far from where it started.
Mesothelioma is a sudden and devastating form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This terminal disease occurs unexpectedly usually 20 to 40 or more years after asbestos exposure. Anyone can be exposed from everyday locations, such as homes, workplaces, schools, and even by direct contact with someone who has asbestos dust contamination on their clothes. Wives and children of workers that were exposed to asbestos have also been shown to be at risk of this disease as a result of personal exposure to asbestos dust on their loved one’s clothing. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there is no evidence of any asbestos exposure level that is considered safe. In conclusion, there is not a certain level of exposure that can decrease your chance of developing the disease. All levels will may lead to this unfortunate disease.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms, seek out a mesothelioma experienced physician as soon as possible in order to receive proper treatment. If diagnosis is early you will have access to a wider array of treatment opportunities with more promising results. Additional information and statistics about mesothelioma can be found within this section.
Symptoms of Stage 4 Mesothelioma
The symptoms of Stage 4 mesothelioma are usually quite severe, and often they are spread through the body, not being limited to the area where the cancer first developed. Common symptoms of Stage 4 mesothelioma include: Weight Loss, Fatigue, Accumulation of fluid in the chest or abdomen, Dysphagia (This means difficulty swallowing), Hemopstysis (This means coughing up blood), Night sweats, General pain in the chest, Tightness in the chest, & Fever.
Prognosis for Stage 4 Mesothelioma
The median survival period for patients diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma is about 12 months. In most cases, the cancer will continue to spread, resulting in respiratory or heart failure.
A patient’s individual life expectancy will differ depending on their age, gender, and overall health, as well as the mesothelioma location, cell type, and other factors.
Mesothelioma Staging by Type
An approved staging distinction program is present only for pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of Mesothelioma cancer. No approved staging systems are identified for peritoneal, pericardial, or testicular mesothelioma. There are no staging systems for less common forms of mesothelioma, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has published general guidelines for staging cancer in its AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. Even when doctors do not have guidelines for a specific form of cancer, they can still refer to the general guidelines to help determine the stages of extremely rare cancers like peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma cancer Staging happens at medical diagnosis of the illness through a medical professional. Although the cancer may recede or progress, the stage of mesothelioma at diagnosis will not change. If a Stage 1 mesothelioma tumor spreads to other parts of the body, it is called Stage 1 with metastasis. If a Stage 4 mesothelioma tumor reduces in size or goes into remission, the stage will not change. While the initial treatment program may depend on the mesothelioma stage, actual treatment may vary depending on how the disease progresses.
Stages of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Staging demands a variety of diagnostic examinations to identify the tumor area, overall size, and whether it has spread beyond the immediate location. The four stages of pleural mesothelioma cancer vary marginally within each system, but they could be generalized as suggested below. Please click into the individual pages to get more information about each stage.
Within Stage 1, the mesothelioma tumor is generally in one location, and the cancerous cells have not dispersed to lymph nodes or other body organs and tissues. In general, surgical treatment may be an option for eliminating the cancerous growth.
Within Stage 2, the mesothelioma tumor is larger and has probably intruded on surrounding organs, such as the lung or even diaphragm. Lymph nodes could additionally be included. In this case, surgical reapportion might still be feasible, however much more difficult depending on the scope of the growth.
Within Stage 3, mesothelioma cancer has infested a region or perhaps location, like the chest wall, esophagus or lymph nodes. Surgical treatment is typically not an option as a curative therapy, however various other treatment options may be attempted.
Within Stage 4, the mesothelioma has dispersed to numerous locations, such as various other organs and tissues throughout the body. Surgical treatment is no longer an alternative, and most treatments at this stage concentrate on minimizing discomfort and pain.
Types of Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma arises in the membrane which surrounds the lung, called the pleura. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this deadly cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is less common but is more often found in women than in men.
Pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.
After being diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is suggested that treatment options should be aggressively explored with mesothelioma experienced physicians. There are a number of treatment options for Mesothelioma through surgery, radiation therapy and certain chemotherapy. Several surgeons have pioneered progressive surgical options for mesothelioma victims, including Dr. Harvey Pass, (NYU Langone Cancer Center), Dr. David Sugarbaker (Baylor College of Medicine) and Dr. Raphael Bueno (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). Research on the most effective chemotherapy regimens continues and to date Alimta and Cisplatin have been shown to be very helpful in some patients. ALIMTA is a treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer that affects the inside lining of the chest cavity. ALIMTA is used with cisplatin, another anticancer medicine (chemotherapy), when surgery is not an option.
Some Mesothelioma patients may want to explore the latest experimental treatment options and clinical trials. Certain non-conventional alternative therapies are being studied and may provide some benefit to patients with Mesothelioma. Understanding that all forms of Mesothelioma are rare and are considered a form of lethal cancer, it is critical to discuss all available treatment options with your family and the best Mesothelioma expert treating internists, pulmonologists, oncologists and surgeons.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment
In most cases, Stage 4 mesothelioma cannot be successfully cured. Therefore, therapy is usually limited to palliative care, meaning that it focuses on reducing pain and discomfort and improving quality of life.
Conventional multimodal treatment plans that combine surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are not typically used for Stage 4 mesothelioma patients. Individual therapies, however, are sometimes used to manage pain and discomfort.
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Asbestos Exposure & Cancer
The only known cause of Mesothelioma is Asbestos Exposure. Asbestos dust and particles that have been inhaled or ingested cause inflammation and disruption of normal cell growth on a microscopic level. This can lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer. Thousands of industrial, commercial and consumer products were manufactured with asbestos from the 1940’s through as late as the 1990’s in some cases. Most of these companies knew the deadly effects that exposing their employees and customers would cause and yet still continued to use the deadly substance due to corporate greed. For this reason many lawsuits have been brought against these companies on behalf of Mesothelioma Victims. Understanding that Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer, this directly means that whoever exposed you or your loved one to Asbestos dust is responsible for their death.
Here at the Asbestos Cancer Organization we have teamed up with a Top Mesothelioma Law firm. The Lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White have been fighting and winning Mesothelioma cases for Mesothelioma clients for over 40 years. We strongly suggest that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma that they seek legal consultation with our partners at Goldberg, Persky & White. They are the best of the best. Their experienced Mesothelioma lawyers will continue fighting Mesothelioma cases for their clients and assist all persons diagnosed with Mesothelioma.
Most asbestos exposure originates from the thousands of products that contained asbestos. People who worked in industries like steel mills, foundries, power plants, chemical plants, refineries, paper mills, glass manufacturing, iron smelting and aluminum manufacturing from the 1940s through the 1990’s were most likely exposed to asbestos dust. A lot of the insulation, refractories and friction products used by these industries during this time period contained asbestos. Construction workers including laborers, insulators, brick layers, electricians, machinists, millwrights, plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, iron workers, boilermakers, carpenters, plasterers, drywall workers and even superintendents, engineers and architects who worked in any form of construction from the 1940’s through the 1990’s could have been exposed to Asbestos dust. There were numerous asbestos containing construction materials sold by the asbestos companies.
The chances of being exposed to asbestos particles in these settings does not decrease even if a worker was never personally handling asbestos containing products. If someone worked in the same area where work with asbestos products was conducted they also inhaled the deadly toxins. Most companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products did not provide warnings to their customers, many workers unwittingly introduced asbestos dust into their homes on their contaminated work clothing, subjecting their wives and even their children to enough asbestos exposure to cause mesothelioma. It has recently been found that some common talcum powders, including baby powder, shaving powders, cosmetic and hygiene talcum powders, contained dangerous levels of asbestos sufficient to cause mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Stages Are Guides – Not Rules!
On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we would like to inform you that the information on our website should not be taken as advice from a medical physician. The stage of mesothelioma can be helpful in providing guidance about the expected course of the disease. It is essential to remember that the staging systems themselves are guides. At any Mesothelioma stage the cancer can be deadly.
Every patient’s treatment options will depend heavily not only on the stage of the disease, but on the cell type and location of the mesothelioma they have, as well as the patient’s age, gender, and overall health.
If you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to talk with someone who can provide explanation and context around your diagnosis. Contact us to connect with an expert who can help you understand what your stage means.
Common Mesothelioma Symptoms by Type
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Adenocarcinoma and other lung cancers
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Other cancers affecting abdominal organs
Coronary artery disease
Other heart-related cancers, such as synovial sarcoma
Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Only the best, just for you.
Dr. Raphael Bueno is the Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Vice Chair of Surgery for Cancer and Translational Research at Boston’s Brigham and
Dr. Harvey Pass is a renowned thoracic surgeon that has dedicated his career to bringing increased awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Dr. Robert Brian Cameron currently serves as the Director of Thoracic Oncology at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Department of Surgery.
Dr. David Sugarbaker is a world-renowned doctor and certified thoracic surgeon widely credited for developing the first tri-modal treatment approach for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Lary A. Robinson is currently the Director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida.
As director of the mesothelioma program at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, Anne Tsao M.D. is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is Commonly Misdiagnosed
All forms of Mesothelioma cancer are often misdiagnosed in early stages. This is partially due to the fact that many mesothelioma symptoms resemble the symptoms of other diseases. Mesothelioma is extremely rare and doctors may be more inclined to diagnose a more common disease first. Misdiagnosis can differ depending on the form of mesothelioma a patient may have or how common the displayed symptoms may be with other diseases.
On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we strongly recommend you consult a Mesothelioma experienced medical physician for any advice related to treatment options and care. We care deeply about your situation and only want the very best for you & your family. We have some of Top Mesothelioma Doctors & latest Clinical Trials listed and linked on our website. Why not check out the Top Mesothelioma Doctors page or even the Clinical Trials page for more accurate information on who can help you & what new clinical trials are available to apply for. We also have some of the Top Cancer Centers listed and linked on our website.
Treatment Options By Mesothelioma Stage
Stage 1 Mesothelioma Treatment
Surgery is the most common doctor recommended treatment for mesothelioma patients during Stage 1 diagnosis. The most common surgeries that are recommended include pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy. Following these surgeries, doctors may want to evaluate the patient further to determine whether chemotherapy or radiation treatment is needed. However, it’s usually determined that those additional therapies are not required for Stage I Patients.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment
Patients that are diagnosed during Stage II Mesothelioma still have a reasonably wide range of traditional treatment opportunities. The most common treatments that are likely to be recommended are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During this stage, surgery is still a possible option. There are also a few other treatment options that are experimental and alternative, which can be utilized in order to slow the progression of the disease, strengthen the immune system and minimize the stress and pain caused by the treatment procedures.
Stage 3 Mesothelioma Treatment
Options are limited during Stage III Mesothelioma. During this stage, the disease most likely has spread across the body to other vital organs or the lymphatic system. The most common option at this point that is recommended by doctors is to set a goal to improve comfort and quality of life.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment
Diagnosis during Stage IV Mesothelioma is usually very discouraging when considering treatment options. At this point, the disease has already progressed throughout the body and organs, and treatment is inoperative. During this time, patients experience severe symptoms and the primary focus of the medical team is to manage pain and symptoms. The most common option chosen by patients at this point is finding a local Hospice program to enhance the remaining quality of life, while also offering support to the patient and family members affected. Patients that are in the 4th stage may have the option to participate in clinical trials researching new treatments for Mesothelioma.
Costs Related to Mesothelioma
As with all types of cancer, Mesothelioma costs can be extremely high, often hundreds of thousands of dollars. The costs associated with the disease can be lumped into several categories: Diagnostic Testing Costs, Treatment Costs, Follow up, Recovery and Care Expenses.
How much a family spends on mesothelioma care will likely depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to: the exact diagnosis, the stage when the disease is diagnosed, what is covered by insurance, and even where the patient lives. Asbestos exposure is the only proven cause of mesothelioma, those who are diagnosed with this deadly cancer may be able to receive financial assistance for many different things, from lost income to medical costs, as well as damages for pain and suffering related to the disease. On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we would like to recommend that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed, you should strongly consider taking legal steps to help offset this potential financial burden.
Learn more about the financial assistance that is available if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Financial aid options available to you can include Mesothelioma trust fund claims and a lawsuit against responsible members of the asbestos industry. Companies that exposed you or your loved one to Asbestos dust are directly responsible for your current condition. You should explore your legal right to compensation from asbestos companies liable for your exposure to asbestos. Here at the Asbestos Cancer Organization we have teamed up with a Top Mesothelioma Law firm. The Lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White having been fighting and winning Mesothelioma cases for Mesothelioma clients for over 40 years. We highly suggest that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma that they seek legal consultation with our legal partners at Goldberg, Persky & White. They are the Best of the Best. Their experienced Mesothelioma lawyers will continue fighting Mesothelioma cases for their clients and assist anyone who develops Mesothelioma.
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