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Stage 3 Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer most often connected to exposure to asbestos. There are four stages of mesothelioma. Stages 1 and 2 have spread little or not at all, while stages 3 and 4 have metastasized to nearby tissues, lymph nodes and/or organs. Stage 3 is one of the less favorable mesothelioma diagnoses. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with stage 3 pleural mesothelioma, learn the basic facts about this diagnosis.

What Is Stage 3 Mesothelioma?

Stage 3 mesothelioma means the cancer cells have spread from their place of origin (the lining of the lungs and chest cavity with pleural mesothelioma) and entered surrounding tissues. A patient diagnosed with stage 3 cancer typically has cancer cells in multiple lymph nodes, the area around the point of origin and/or organs.

With this diagnosis, the cancer has metastasized and may have affected one whole side of the chest, the lymph nodes on that side of the body, the layers of the chest wall, the heart sac, the diaphragm and more. The difference between stage 3 and stage 4 mesothelioma is that the cancer has not yet spread to organs that are farther away from the tumor.

What Are the Symptoms of Stage 3 Mesothelioma?

A patient with stage 3 mesothelioma may notice more or more severe symptoms of mesothelioma than a patient diagnosed with stage 1 or stage 2. For this reason, stage 3 is the most common type of mesothelioma diagnosis. The spread of the cancer can have a more prominent effect on a patient, leading to symptoms such as:

  • Recurring dry cough
  • Chronic chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever and sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss and reduced appetite
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen

These are potential symptoms of all four types of mesothelioma in stage 3, not only pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma specifically affects the lungs and chest. If you notice any symptoms that could be a sign of mesothelioma, especially if you know you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your life, go to a doctor. Keep in mind that mesothelioma can take decades from the date of asbestos exposure to form.

Can Stage 3 Mesothelioma Be Cured?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for any stage of mesothelioma. It is a deadly type of cancer. However, cancer research continues to provide hope of finding a cure in the future. Furthermore, aggressive treatments and clinical trials can hold promise for patients diagnosed with stage 3 mesothelioma. The right mesothelioma treatment plan could have the power to increase life expectancy while making a patient more comfortable.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma Types

The most common type of stage 3 mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which is found in the lining of the lungs (the pleura). A patient could get pleural mesothelioma by inhaling minuscule particles of asbestos, which get lodged in the lungs and chest cavity. There are three other types of mesothelioma, as well, which can come from ingesting asbestos:

  1. Peritoneal mesothelioma (found in the lining of the abdomen)
  2. Pericardial mesothelioma (found in the lining of the heart)
  3. Testicular mesothelioma (found in the lining of the testes)

There are also different mesothelioma cell types. There are epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma cells. A patient’s prognosis will depend on the type, stage and cell type of the mesothelioma. Generally, it is easiest to treat patients with epithelioid cell type mesothelioma compared to the other two.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma Prognosis

Sadly, the prognosis for a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma is poor. The level of metastasis with stage 3 cancer makes it more difficult to treat, as it may have spread to many different parts of the body. The spread of the cancer cells makes this a more aggressive disease, as well, that progresses more quickly than stage 1 or 2. That being said, prognoses can vary significantly from patient to patient.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with stage 3 pleural mesothelioma depends on how he or she responds to treatment. It can also depend on the characteristics of the patient, such as his or her age, gender and overall health at the time of diagnosis. Life expectancy is also related to the specific diagnosis, such as the extent the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Treatments can help a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma live longer. The number of factors that can affect life expectancy makes it impossible to estimate without help from your doctor.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma Survival Rate

The median survival rate with stage 3 mesothelioma is 14 to 26 months. The two-year survival rate for a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma ranges from about 26% to 38%. However, every patent is unique. Survival rates in studies have varied significantly according to factors such as whether the patient was a candidate for surgery. Many patients have outlived the median survival rate with a multimodal treatment approach.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma Treatment

Modern cancer treatments may allow a patient with stage 3 mesothelioma to extend his or her life expectancy and survival rate, as well as enjoy better quality of life. Furthermore, treatments are always evolving. Emerging mesothelioma clinical trials, for example, may hold promise for patients of the future.

With stage 3 mesothelioma, surgery to remove the tumor is still a possibility. The patient can also receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy to reduce the spread of cancer cells post-surgery. Finally, a patient can receive palliative care to improve quality of living as time passes. A multimodal treatment approach can help patients enjoy the best possible prognoses.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma FAQ

Q: What causes stage 3 mesothelioma?

A: Asbestos is the most common cause of stage 3 mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos, which can be found in many items and materials, can lead to irritation and scar tissue in the lining of the organs that ultimately form cancerous tumors.

Q: Is stage 3 mesothelioma curable?

A: Sadly, stage 3 mesothelioma has no known cure. However, treatments may be available to reduce symptoms and extend life expectancy.

Q: What treatments are available for stage 3 mesothelioma?

A: The answer depends on the particular patient, but potential treatments available may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and palliative care. Common surgeries for patients with pleural mesothelioma specifically are extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). EPP is more aggressive than P/D.

Q: Can you sue if you have stage 3 mesothelioma?

A: If another person or party negligently exposed you or a loved one to asbestos, resulting in a diagnosis of stage 3 mesothelioma, your family may have grounds for a mesothelioma lawsuit. A lawsuit could result in financial compensation for your related medical bills, lost wages, lost quality of life, a loved one’s wrongful death and more. Discuss your case in more detail with a mesothelioma lawyer in New York today.

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