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Understanding Stage 3 Mesothelioma

Overview

Stage 3 mesothelioma is a severe phase of the disease, in which pleural tumors, located in the lung lining, have metastasized extensively within one side of the chest, encompassing the mediastinal lymph nodes. Such expansion of the disease means tumors can potentially impact surrounding areas like the diaphragm, heart sac, chest wall, and the mediastinum – the region between the lungs. While peritoneal cancer, found in the abdomen, lacks a standard staging system, doctors employ specific tools to categorize peritoneal mesothelioma. At this stage, tumors might spread to neighboring lymph nodes or the peritoneal lining but haven’t yet reached distant organs.

Symptoms

The progression from stage 2 to stage 3 in mesothelioma is marked by a significant escalation in symptom severity. Among the symptoms, patients frequently experience shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, persistent dry coughs, fatigue, fever, unexpected weight loss, and fluid buildup. These symptoms, especially for pleural mesothelioma, can intensify due to increased pleural fluid exerting pressure on the lungs. Meanwhile, peritoneal mesothelioma patients might suffer from an accumulation of peritoneal fluid stressing the abdomen. The exact symptoms can be influenced by the tumor’s location and its effects on essential organs.

Prognosis and Life Expectancy

Generally, stage 3 mesothelioma patients can anticipate a life expectancy ranging between 16 to 26 months post-diagnosis. Several factors, such as a patient’s overall health, prior treatments, and medical history, influence these numbers. It’s essential to understand that while these are general figures, every patient’s experience can differ. For some, lymph node involvement can drastically alter life expectancy, as cancerous tumors can proliferate to these nodes, leading to the possibility of cancer spreading more extensively. However, survival rates alone aren’t holistic indicators of a patient’s prognosis; factors such as age, gender, cancer cell type, response to treatments, and overall health play a pivotal role.

Treatment Options

Treatment for stage 3 mesothelioma often follows a multimodal approach, integrating surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for optimal outcomes. Despite the aggressive nature of stage 3 tumors, surgical removal remains feasible in certain scenarios. There are various surgical options, such as the extrapleural pneumonectomy, which involves the removal of the affected lung, pleural lining, diaphragm, and heart lining. Another option is the pleurectomy and decortication, a less aggressive procedure targeting tumor masses within the chest cavity. Apart from surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy play significant roles.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call the Halpern Law Firm at (800) 505-6000 or fill out our form for legal help. Call today for a free case evaluation and to get more information. We have over 30 years of experience and have won over $100 million for our clients.

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/staging.html

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-statistics.html

https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/statistics

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1936523314001363

Written By Jeff Nelson

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