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The 4 stages of mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your oncologist likely told you it was either state one, two, three or four. But what exactly do those stages mean?

The stages detail the progression of the disease and can help your doctor decide on the best treatment plan for you to follow. Below are the four stages of mesothelioma explained in greater detail.

Stage 1: This is the best case scenario, as it indicates your pleural mesothelioma is localized to the pleural lining on either the left or right side. There has been no metastasis of the cancer to the lymph nodes or any other sites.

Stage 2: In Stage 2, while the lymph nodes remain unaffected, either the left or right side of the pleural lining is affected and cancer may have spread to your diaphragm or lungs.

Stage 3: With Stage 3 mesothelioma, there can be more areas of the chest that now are affected by the cancer. It might have spread to the wall of the chest and possibly to the lymph nodes as well.

Stage 4: This is the most advanced and final stage of mesothelioma. Full chest involvement has occurred, and the lymph nodes are involved, or metastases have occurred in distant sites of the body.

While there is no cure available for mesothelioma, aggressive treatment can sometimes extend life beyond what is expected. Because mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure on the job, filing an asbestos lawsuit can result in a settlement that can pay for treatment and other options to enhance the quality of life for those suffering from this insidious disease.

Source: Cancer Treatment Centers of America, "Mesothelioma stages," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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