Stages and Life expectancy of Mesothelioma Cancer helps the patients and doctors to track the progression of cancer in the body. Stages and Life Expectancy of Mesothelioma cancer plays a crucial role in the planning process of treatment. Mesothelioma has its own staging system for recognition, known as TNM Staging System.
What is TNM Staging system – Mesothelioma
T-Tumor/Tumour size and extent, N-Level of spread to Lymph Nodes, M-Metastasis presence to distant organs. This TNM staging system or TNM classification includes algorithms for all cancer types excluding pediatric cancer. TNM classification enables medical facilities around the world to collate and contribute productively towards treating Patients of Mesothelioma and finding further cure for the same.
Four Stages of Mesothelioma
Based on TNM staging system of Mesothelioma there are four stages of Pleural Mesothelioma/Pleural Mesothelioma staging:
Stage one of Pleural Mesothelioma– The stage suggests that the cells of mesothelioma cancer are grouped or contained at the mesothelial lining of the infected organ, which means the tumour of mesothelioma cancer remains in a single area. Surgery for the defined body part/organ is an option available for the treatment at this stage.
The life expectancy in the first stage of mesothelioma is higher in comparison to the other later stages. The life expectancy of mesothelioma patient at this stage is about 22.2 months with surgery done in required time.
Stage two of Pleural Mesothelioma– In this stage of mesothelioma the cancer cells enter the lymph nodes infecting the organ in a more severe manner. Surgery still remains an option for treatment at this stage.
Life expectancy of patient in this stage depends on the treatment taken on the earlier stages of the mesothelioma cancer. If the patient responds well to the treatment, the life expectancy may be longer than 5years. For the patients detected with cancer at stage two the life expectancy can be of around 20 months considering the surgery is opted at right time.
Stage three of Pleural Mesothelioma– The mesothelioma cancer cells in this stage spread into other nearby organs including the distant lymph nodes. The treatment preference in this stage might shift towards Chemotherapy, although surgery still remains an option.
With right treatment the patients can live for years, still the median life expectancy at this stage of mesothelioma remains to be of 18 months with surgery.
Stage four of Pleural Mesothelioma- The cells of mesothelioma cancer in this stage have metastasized throughout the organ and also appear to spread beyond it. Due to the spread of cancer cells into different areas the surgery now does remain an option although Chemotherapy can provide relief to the patient and might also help in improving life expectancy.
Life expectancy at this stage of mesothelioma depends on the treatments measure such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy and patient’s response to the same. The life expectancy can be of 15 months.
All the stages of Pleural mesothelioma discussed above relate to the TNM staging system. Even though a system is in place for detection and analysis of Mesothelioma, the cancer is mostly detected in the later stages as the early stages of mesothelioma cancer causes no symptoms.
Metastasis – Final stage of Mesothelioma cancer- This stage means that the cancer cells in the patient’s body has spread to distant body parts form which they initially developed.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma staging – The TNM staging system mentioned earlier in the article works well for the Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer.
Pericardial Mesothelioma staging- No staging system perfectly defines the stages of pericardial mesothelioma as it is very rare form of cancer which also makes it lesser known. Due to the inability of detection and rarity it is often detected when it spreads in many areas. Testicular Mesothelioma staging- This mesothelioma cancer type also does not have any defined staging due to its extreme rarity.
Some important factors that affect Mesothelioma cancer patient’s life expectancy include:
Mesothelioma cancer location: The place/location of origin of mesothelioma cancer is often the first factor in determining the life expectancy of an individual. The patients with peritoneal mesothelioma (located in the abdomen) often have the best life expectancy that can last for many years or longer. Patients with Pleural mesothelioma (located in the lungs) have a lifespan of one to two years. The worst prognosis is pericardial mesothelioma (the heart).
Cell Type of Mesothelioma: The type of cells that make up the mesothelioma cancer in a patient determine how rapidly they spread themselves in the body. The fastest spread among the mesothelioma cells is found in Sarcomatoid cells, which are also rare. Epithelioids cells of mesothelioma are on the other hand are the slowest ones. Biphasic cells are made up of Sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells, and life expectancy varies.
Stage of mesothelioma: There is a better life expectancy for patients with less advanced mesothelioma stage. Patients in Early stage mesothelioma have a life expectancy of nearer to 21 months, whereas patients in late stage have live expectancy nearer to 12 months.
By – Karen – Health Blog Expert (Contributing Author)