Exposure to asbestos, especially in a field of employment where workers come into contact with it often, may cause mesothelioma.
What sort of treatment can mesothelioma sufferers expect? How does it tie to the specific stages of mesothelioma?
Mayo Clinic discusses mesothelioma in its stages. First, the stages of mesothelioma get diagnosed via a battery of tests. A physical examination will likely come first, in which a doctor will check for lumps and other signs. Next, they will order imaging scans.
Imaging scans will differ depending on what the doctor wants to look for. This can include abdominal or chest CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or potentially a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
Scans like this help a doctor diagnose and assign a stage to the cancer, ranging from Roman numerals I to IV. Lower numerals indicate a more localized cancer, while higher numerals indicate the spread of the cancer.
Surgical and therapeutic options
In the early stages, it is possible to handle via surgery. This can decrease overall buildup of fluid in the chest. A surgeon may opt to remove a lung as well.
Radiation or chemotherapy may also get suggested to kill the cancerous cells. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy also serve as options for mesothelioma sufferers.
How doctors determine treatment
A doctor will examine a person’s overall physical state of wellness and health in addition to the stage of the cancer when making a choice about treatment. Thus, each person’s treatment plan will look different and unique depending on their limitations, needs and goals.