The TNM staging system can be used to diagnose mesothelioma staging. Stage 2 is the second of 4 stages: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4. Each of these stages corresponds to a different treatment and prognosis, with stage 2 more advanced that the lowest stage 1 diagnosis. Each stage diagnosis of mesothelioma is based upon the prior diagnosis of cancer within the T, N, M staging system:
Stage 2: T2, N0, M0: For pleural mesothelioma the tumor has grown beyond the pleura lining and into the coating of the diaphragm, lung, or space between the lungs, and/or the diaphragm and lung organs. It is still treatable, and the prognosis is free of involvement of the lymph nodes or distant sites.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment
Similar to stage 1, stage 2 mesothelioma has developed locally and has not invaded distant sites, deeply into tissues or organs, or been found within the local lymph nodes. This makes stage 2 mesothelioma a likely candidate for surgery to resect the tumor. Resection surgery is intended to help extend the expected lifespan of the patient.
What are the Symptoms Associated with Stage 2 Mesothelioma?
Stage 2 mesothelioma has developed in size enough that a patient may have experienced symptoms, and in fact may have been diagnosed after seeking treatment for symptoms. Symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain and coughing.
Unfortunately these symptoms are also common with many ailments, both permanent and serious and non-serious. Many patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has progressed to stage 3 or stage 4. Fluids may also be developing around the lining of the lungs
or within the abdomen (for peritoneal mesothelioma), causing pressure and additional symptoms. Fluid buildup around the lungs is known as pleural effusion.
Stage 2 Prognosis
At stage 2, the cancer can only be located within a single area (possibly as one or several separate tumors in a single area), hasn’t invaded critical organs and hasn’t been discovered within the lymphatic system. A diagnosis of stage 2 mesothelioma allows for aggressive treatment, and patients with a stage 2 diagnosis are frequently great candidates for surgery to remove primary tumors.
The average life expectancy with stage 2 mesothelioma after diagnosis is approximately 1 year.
Stage 2 Surgery Treatment
Surgery to remove tumors discovered with a stage 2 diagnosis involves the removal of all visible portions of the tumor, as well as any surrounding tissue that can be safety removed as the edge of the tumor can be difficult to view or determine.
The surgery, if it does not involve aggressive removal of one lung, is known as a pleurectomy. An extrapleural pneumonectomy also removes additional heart lining, lymph nodes, portions of the diaphragm and one lung. A patient and a doctor can decide on what the patient wishes to occur during a surgery. A doctor may not know the extend of tumor growth until a surgery is underway, so communication between a doctor and patient prior to any surgery is critical so the wishes of the patient can be taken into account.
Stage 2 Care
Your doctor may decide that due to the possible presence of cancer cells beyond the tumor site, and the nature of mesothelioma diagnosis and the typical progression of mesothelioma cancers, additional aggressive treatment is required. Even after a surgery to remove tissue and tumors, your doctors may recommend radiation and/or chemotherapy after resection surgery.
The combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is known as multimodal therapy. Multimodal means multiple types, in this case the combination of both chemo and radiation therapies.
Radiation therapy: Used to shrink any tumors not removed by surgery and to reduce the risk of recurrence of tumors.
Chemotherapy: Used to kill cancer cells that remain after resection surgery. One version used “heated chemotherapy” to try and prolong survival times in patients.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Using both therapies simultaneously has been shown to improve expected lifespan for patients diagnosed with stage 2 mesothelioma, by reducing the odds of recurrence and increasing the time until recurrence.
While patients with stage 2 mesothelioma can likely undergo resection surgery to remove tumors, an option frequently unavailable to more progressed cancers, it should be noted that even after complete removal of tumors and surrounding tissue it is expected that cancer will return. Resection can increase life expectancy, and can also be used to remove tumors and improve qualify of life by limiting the symptoms of tumor progression.
Patients that underwent aggressive treatment had an average stage 2 mesothelioma life expectancy of approximately 1 year.
Other Stages of Mesothelioma
To read more about other stages of mesothelioma, click here:
More Information about Mesothelioma
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