Stage II Mesothelioma
Stage II asbestos cancer is considered to be a treatable form of the disease. Patients who are diagnosed with stage II mesothelioma often have a lot of available treatment options.
Stage II asbestos cancer patients frequently have no idea they have the disease until they are diagnosed. They might be losing weight but feel bloated. They might have been given medication for a lingering cough, but it won.t go away. They may feel chest pains, stomach aches and have difficulty breathing.
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Like stage I asbestos cancer, stage II is considered the earlier stages of the disease. In this early stage, the disease has not spread, or metastasized, extensively. It is rare to diagnose this aggressive cancer in the early stages because it quietly progresses over a period of decades.
Stage II Asbestos Cancer
In stage II asbestos cancer, the disease is located on one side of the body. In pleural mesothelioma, that means it.s on one side of the chest wall. In peritoneal, it.s on one side of the abdominal cavity.
When detecting stage II asbestos cancer, doctors can find it on the pleura (or lining) that surrounds one of the lungs, in the lining that surrounds the diaphragm, the diaphragm muscle and one of the lungs. If tumors are present, they are larger than would be in stage I and have spread.
Stage II Staging Systems
Doctors assign a rubric or staging system to define the spread of the disease from its original location. There are three staging systems that are most commonly used by physicians for asbestos cancer:
- TNM - This system defines the cancer according to the tumor (T), lymph node involvement (N) and spread or metastasis (M). It describes the size of the tumors and the spread into the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. In TNM stage II, the cancer has not spread into the lymph nodes or other distant sites.
- Butchart - In this system, stage II means that the cancer has grown into the chest wall and may be on both sides of the pleura or chest wall. It also may have grown into the esophagus, heart and some nearby lymph nodes.
- Brigham - The Brigham system is primarily concerned with the chances a patient will be able to undergo surgery to resect the disease. In Brigham.s stage II, the cancer can be removed through surgery. There are no cancer cells in the lymph nodes.
Treatments for Stage II Mesothelioma
Most of the mesothelioma stages are treated in the same way. The differences come in the desired outcome. For the earlier stages, doctors use chemotherapy, surgery and radiation for life-extending and possibly curative measures. In the later stages, the treatments are used in a palliative manner. These most beneficial treatments are also called multimodal or trimodal treatments:
- Surgery - Some physicians will perform an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which removes the injured lung and surrounding tissue. Other physicians use surgical procedures that don.t remove as much tissue, such as a pleurectomy and decortication (also called lung-sparing surgery).
- Chemotherapy - A growing number of physicians are opting for heated chemotherapy to be used in conjunction with surgical procedures. Some research says chemotherapy that is heated slightly above body temperature may kill cancerous cells more quickly and effectively.
- Radiation - In some cases, radiation is used in stage II cancer to remove or shrink tumors.
Other treatment options:
- Gene Therapy - Healthy genes are implanted in place of unhealthy ones in an effort to kill cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy - This uses the body.s immune system to eliminate cancer cells.
- Clinical Trials - New and emerging treatments are sometimes the best option.
Prognosis for Stage 2 Mesothelioma
The prognosis for stage II asbestos cancer patients is best for those who undergo curative surgical procedures. Research shows that those who undergo such procedures live for more than three years following a diagnosis. Because stage II asbestos cancer is considered early stage, many healthy patients respond well to aggressive treatment.
Cancer.gov. How is Malignant Mesothelioma Staged? Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignantmesothelioma/detailedguide/malignant-mesothelioma-staging
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Mesothelioma. Retrieved from http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=thoracic&doc=3594