As most of us already know, mesothelioma is a type of disease caused by exposure to asbestos; that is why people working in areas exposed to asbestos are advised to wear protective equipment to reduce or lower the risk of asbestos exposure.
It is believed that if more awareness is created on mesothelioma, the rampant disease will become a thing of the past in the next few years. And as most people already know, this disease consists of 4 stages. So in this post, we want to look at the second stage of mesothelioma, the symptoms, and treatment options.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Definition
This second stage of mesothelioma is more advanced than stage 1 in terms of seriousness. During this stage, the disease has spread a little bit to nearby tissues and organs in the body. Although at this stage, the level of spreading of the cancer is still limited and has not fully manifested, meaning it is still within the region it initially started from.
The 3 staging systems provide different descriptions for the second stage of mesothelioma, which are:
- TNM System – the description given is that cancer may have spread to other organs in the body, such as the lung, lymph nodes, and the diaphragm.
- Butchart Systems – the description given for the stage 2 mesothelioma here is that cancer may have spread to the pleura in both lungs, the diaphragm or the esophagus, and lymph nodes.
- Brigham System – the description given by the Brigham system is that stage 2 patients are recommended for surgical operation.
- Stage 2 Mesothelioma Symptoms
Although during this second stage, the disease is not yet severe as the later stages, the symptoms will increase as cancer spreads more to other areas.
Symptoms of stage 2 include:
- Weight loss
- A chronic cough and chest pains
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment
Due to the level of the spread at stage 2 mesothelioma, multimodal therapy is used for treatments. Multimodal therapy is a kind of treatment whereby other treatment forms are combined to achieve the desired result.
The individual treatment options include:
Surgery is used for the removal of the tumor. Some of the surgical methods adopted are Cytoreduction, Pleurectomy with Decortication, and Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP).
- Cytoreduction – this is used on patients with stage 2 peritoneal mesothelioma, and it involves the removal of the peritoneum.
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) – this has to do with removing the lung which is affected. The EPP is mostly used on patients with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma.
- Pleurectomy with Decortication – this is the removal of the pleura in patients with stage 2 mesothelioma.
Radiation is also used before or after a surgical operation to ensure that the cancer cells remaining are wiped out and prevent further recurrence of the cells.
Chemotherapy is mostly used after the surgery to ensure that the cancer cells not extracted by surgery are killed and eliminated.
Evidence from studies carried out showed that patients in stage 2 have the chance of living for 12 – 20 months after surgery.