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Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Malignant Mesothelioma and Treatment
Stages of Malignant Mesothelioma
Recurrent Malignant Mesothelioma
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Malignant Mesothelioma and Treatment

Stages of Malignant Mesothelioma

Key Points for This Section


After malignant mesothelioma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

cancer has spread outside the pleura or peritoneum is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the spread of the cancer in order to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:

  • Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
  • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of the chest and abdomen, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of the chest or abdomen. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).

The stages of malignant mesothelioma are divided into two groups.

Malignant mesothelioma stages are grouped into localized and advanced.

Localized malignant mesothelioma (stage I)

In localized malignant mesothelioma, cancer is found in the lining of the chest and may also be found in the lung, the diaphragm, or the lining of the sac that covers the heart on the same side of the chest.

Advanced malignant mesothelioma (stage II, stage III, and stage IV)

Advanced malignant mesothelioma includes stage II, stage III, and stage IV.

  • In stage II, cancer is found in the lining of the chest and the lymph nodes on the same side of the chest. Cancer may also be found in the lung, the diaphragm, or the lining of the sac that covers the heart on the same side of the chest.
  • In stage III, cancer has spread to any of the following areas: Cancer may have also spread to lymph nodes on the other side of the chest or outside the chest.
  • In stage IV, cancer has spread to distant organs or tissues.

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