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Stage 2 Pleural Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma, you may have many questions regarding your disease and prognosis. While your first source of information should always be your doctor, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and essential facts about this specific diagnosis here. For legal advice about a stage 2 pleural mesothelioma diagnosis, please contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C.

What Is Stage 2 Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused mainly by asbestos exposure. It is a terminal type of cancer with no known cure. Pleural mesothelioma is found in the pleura, or the lining of the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma, with an incidence rate of about 3.05 cases per 100,000 people in the U.S.

Stage 2 pleural mesothelioma shows some signs of the cancer spreading. Typically, in stage 2, the cancer has spread to one of the lungs, the lymph nodes and possibly the diaphragm. The presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes is what differentiates stage 1 from stage 2 cancer. The sizes of the tumors are still very small, however, while the tumors are larger for a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma.

Stage 2 mesothelioma falls in the middle of the cancer staging system. Doctors classify mesothelioma into four stages. The first has the best prognosis for recovery, while the fourth has the worst. A patient’s symptoms will worsen as he or she progresses through the stages of mesothelioma. The earlier the stage at the time of diagnosis, the longer the patient’s life expectancy (in general).

What Are the Symptoms of Stage 2 Mesothelioma?

A patient with stage 2 mesothelioma may notice symptoms that lightly affect the lungs and chest. Stage 2 is a more common diagnosis than stage 1, as many patients do not notice the symptoms of mesothelioma while still in the first stage. Even by the time the cancer progresses to stage 2, many patients do not notice major symptoms. Patients may experience minor symptoms, such as:

  • Persistent or chronic cough
  • Dry cough
  • Minor trouble breathing or breathlessness
  • Slight chest pain
  • Slight abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever (less common)

This list includes symptoms of all four types of mesothelioma. The symptoms of stage 2 pleural mesothelioma can easily be confused with other conditions, such as pneumonia or the flu. A patient experiencing potential symptoms should see a doctor immediately for a screening. A physician will run tests such as x-rays and blood tests to diagnose the disease and place it into the correct stage. Then, the physician will discuss treatment options.

Can Stage 2 Mesothelioma Be Cured?

Unfortunately, stage 2 mesothelioma cannot be cured. It is a deadly disease. However, there are many promising new mesothelioma clinical trials as researchers continue to work hard to search for a cure. There are also treatments available for patients with stage 2 mesothelioma to help slow down the spread of the cancer cells, reduce the size of tumors, control symptoms, extend a patient’s life expectancy and improve quality of living.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma Types

There are four main types of stage 2 mesothelioma depending on what part of the body contains the cancer cells. The most common is pleural mesothelioma, where cancer is present in the lining of the lungs. There is also stage 2 peritoneal mesothelioma (lining of the abdomen), pericardial mesothelioma (lining of the heart) and testicular mesothelioma (lining of the testes). The type of stage 2 mesothelioma diagnosed can determine important facts such as prognosis, life expectancy and available mesothelioma treatment options.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma Prognosis

The prognosis for patients diagnosed with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma is relatively favorable. It is similar to stage 1. Patients in this stage are generally eligible for all available types of treatments, which can extend life expectancy and improve quality of living. Although all stages of pleural mesothelioma are terminal, an early stage such as stage 2 at the time of diagnosis can give a patient a more positive outlook for the future.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for a patient with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma is difficult to measure, as many patients surpass the length of scientific studies. Efforts by doctors and surgeons have been known to allow some mesothelioma survivors to surpass the average life expectancy by as much as a few years.

A patient’s life expectancy depends on many unique factors, including the patient’s age, overall health and the cell type of the cancer. This is something you must discuss with your doctor on an ongoing basis as you undergo treatments and measure their success.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma Survival Rate

Stage 2 mesothelioma cancer cells have entered nearby lymph nodes. This means while it may not have spread far yet, it has the potential to metastasize throughout the body. The two-year survival rate for a patient with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma is around 39% with treatments to extend life expectancy. The five-year survival rate is around 9% to 11%. The median survival length is 19 months from the date of diagnosis. The survival rate is a little better for a patient with stage 2 peritoneal mesothelioma compared to pleural. Every patient is different, however, and cancer-fighting technology is constantly evolving.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment

Patients diagnosed with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma are often eligible for aggressive treatment plans with a multimodal approach. This is part of why the survival rates for stage 2 mesothelioma are more favorable than later stages, where patients may no longer be eligible for certain types of treatments.

A treatment plan for a patient with stage 2 mesothelioma may involve:

  • Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Two of the most common procedures for pleural mesothelioma are extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy with decortication.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy to damage or destroy remaining cancer cells and reduce metastasis.
  • Clinical trials, where a patient can receive new drugs that may have a favorable effect on the mesothelioma cells.
  • Palliative treatment. If cancer continues to spread past the point of treatment, a patient may receive palliative care to ease symptoms.

The treatment plan that is right for you will depend on the unique aspects of your diagnosis. Discuss your treatment options with your doctor in more detail.

If you have legal questions about your stage 2 mesothelioma diagnosis, such as whether or not another party is legally responsible for causing your disease, a New York mesothelioma attorney at The Williams Law Firm, P.C. can help. Call (855) 575-6376 for free legal consultation today.

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