When a patient with malignant mesothelioma is diagnosed as being in Stage 2 of the disease, it means that though the cancer is still not in an advanced stage, it has gone beyond the area where it originated and has begun to spread. It is not uncommon for mesothelioma victims to start experiencing the symptoms of their disease when they are in Stage 2, though at this point of their illness they are more likely than not to dismiss the signs as being those of a flu, a cold, or some other benign condition. Those who are aware of their previous exposure to asbestos, and who are therefore vigilant in watching out for these symptoms, often register alarm and seek medical attention and diagnosis, and these early reactions make them far more likely to have a better overall prognosis.
The difference between Stage I and Stage II mesothelioma is stark. Where during Stage I the cancer is limited to just the pleural or peritoneal lining, once the cancer has progressed to Stage II it has moved into the chest cavity, diaphragm or lung, or into the abdominal cavity and surrounding organs in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma. Though this progression does represent a more serious situation than Stage I disease, it is still generally considered operable, and mesothelioma physicians are often able to provide effective treatment strategies that offer hope for extended survival and improved quality of life.
Symptoms of Stage II Mesothelioma
Some symptoms of mesothelioma are present no matter where in the body the malignancy originates. These include rapid and unexplained weight loss, fever, and fatigue. Beyond these, the symptoms often reflect the area of the body where the cancer is located.
Pleural mesothelioma patients who are identified as being in Stage II will likely begin to feel shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing, and mild chest pain.
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients who are identified as being in Stage II will likely begin to feel abdominal pain and experience diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Pericardial mesothelioma patients who are identified as being in Stage II will likely begin to have chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Many mesothelioma patients end up delaying their treatment by ignoring these symptoms. If you have ever worked around asbestos, or had a loved one who worked in an asbestos-contaminated environment, it is important that you seek medical attention if you experience any of those symptoms. It is better to see your physician over something inconsequential then to ignore symptoms that are serious. It is also important that you ensure that your healthcare provider is aware of any exposure that you may have had to asbestos, no matter how insignificant you may believe it to be
Treatment for Stage II Mesothelioma
When a mesothelioma patient is identified as being in Stage II of the disease, their physician will generally offer a multi-modality treatment strategy that focus on surgical removal of the mesothelioma tumors. Depending upon your health and the exact location of your mesothelioma, you may be a candidate for extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy and decortication in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, or in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma you may be offered a procedure known as HIPEC, which combines surgical resection of your tumor with the administration of heated chemotherapeutic drugs directly into the surgical site. The goal of this multimodality approach is to remove as much cancer as possible, and then use the chemotherapy medication or doses of radiation therapy to kill any cells that may be left behind.
Prognosis for Stage II Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is always considered a fatal condition, but for those who are diagnosed as early as Stage II, there is hope for extended survival and a good prognosis. Many patients identified with Stage II mesothelioma live more than 18 months after their diagnosis, with some able to live for years beyond.
Legal Help for Mesothelioma Patients
People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation from the $30 billion asbestos trust funds, or to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the asbestos companies that negligently exposed them to asbestos. If you or someone you love has an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos lung cancer, contact our office today at 1-800-793-4540 We will put you in touch with one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys or send you a free Financial Compensation Packet that will provide you with helpful information about the compensation that you may be eligible to receive.