Mesothelioma Treatment by Stage
Mesothelioma treatment decisions are made, in part, based on the stage of the cancer (how far it has spread). Stages of mesothelioma are classified as localized (stage I) or advanced (stages II, III, and IV). Localized (stage I) mesothelioma treatment will usually involve surgery to remove the cancer (especially if the cancer is in only one place in the chest). Examples of mesothelioma treatment for stage II, stage III, and stage IV include surgery to drain fluid in the chest and chemotherapy.
Malignant mesothelioma stages are grouped into two categories; each stage of the cancer falls into one of the two categories: localized or advanced. Mesothelioma treatment is generally conducted based on the stage of cancer.
If the mesothelioma is in one part of the chest lining, treatment will probably consist of surgery to remove the part of the chest lining with cancer and some of the tissue around it.
If localized mesothelioma is found in more than one place in the chest, mesothelioma treatment may be one of the following:
- Pleurectomy and decortication surgery (with or without radiation therapy) as palliative therapy to relieve mesothelioma symptoms and improve the quality of life
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery
- Radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Treatment of advanced mesothelioma may include the following:
- Surgery to drain fluid that has collected in the chest, to reduce discomfort. Pleurodesis may be done to stop more fluid from collecting in the chest.
- Pleurectomy and decortication surgery, as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life.
- Mesothelioma radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve pain.
- Chemotherapy with one anticancer drug.