After a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis has been made, tests are conducted to determine if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
The process used to find out if cancer has spread outside the pleura is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage of the cancer in order to plan the mesothelioma treatment.
Malignant mesothelioma stages are grouped into localized, advanced, and recurrent stages.
Treatment Options for Malignant Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma treatment options include:
- Surgery (see Mesothelioma Surgery)
- Radiation therapy (see Mesothelioma Radiation)
- Chemotherapy (see Mesothelioma Chemotherapy).
You can also learn about the mesothelioma treatment options for each stage by clicking on Mesothelioma Treatment by Stage.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) for malignant mesothelioma depends on the following:
- The stage of the malignant mesothelioma
- The size of the tumor
- Whether the tumor can be removed completely by surgery
- The amount of fluid in the chest
- The patient's age and general health, including lung and heart health
- The type of mesothelioma cancer cells and how they look under a microscope
- Whether the malignant mesothelioma has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).