Stages of Mesothelioma

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Staging is a term that means the extent that cancer has invaded the body.

Staging involves three variables:

 Involvement in the lymph nodes. The lymph system contain lymph nodes that store the white blood cells and fight infection by removing foreign particles and bacteria.
 Tumor size
 Metastasis or whether the cancer has spread from its original site to other parts of the body.

There are three staging systems : The Butchart System, the Brigham System (found Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston) and the TNM system (where t is tumor, N is lymph nodes and M is metastasis) Each of these break the disease into the four major stages. These stages described by the National Cancer Institute are as follows:

 Stage I. – Cancer is confined to the lining of the chest wall, possibly the lung, diaphragm or pericardium. This stage is referred to as localized malignant Mesothelioma and carries the best prognosis.

 Stage II.- Cancer is in the lining of the chest wall and lymph nodes on the same side of the chest. In this stage, cancer can also be found in the lining of the lung, diaphragm or pericardium (lining of the heart).

 Stage III.- Cancer has spread to any of the following: chest wall, beyond the diaphragm, the peritoneum, lymph nodes on the other side of the chest or outside the chest, or the mediastinum.

 Stage IV.- Cancer has metastasized to other organs or tissues.

Stages II, III, and IV as referred to as advanced malignant Mesothelioma. The most advanced stage is Stage IV.

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