Stage 2 Mesothelioma
Cancer, in general, is staged according to a variety of systems. The ones most often used for the staging of mesothelioma include the Butchart, TNM, and Brigham systems. Each indicates something a little different about each stage of the disease but the systems are fairly consistent across the board.
Stage 2 mesothelioma indicates cancer that is obviously more advanced than Stage 1 and has most likely spread from the primary site to another area of the body that is close by. For example, pleural mesothelioma may have spread from the membrane to the lungs or the diaphragm.
The staging guidelines for Stage 2 mesothelioma are as follows:
- Butchart System – In the oldest staging system and the one most often used for staging pleural mesothelioma, Stage 2 indicates that the cancer has spread from the pleural membrane of one lung to that of the other. It may have also spread to the esophagus or the lining of the heart, known as the pericardium. There may be minimal lymph node involvement.
- TNM System – In the “Tumor, Node, Metastasis” system of staging, a Stage 2 mesothelioma patient’s cancer has spread from the primary site to the lymph nodes on the same side of the body. It may have also spread to the lung or diaphragm on the same side or to the pericardium, the lining of the heart.
- Brigham System – In this system that is concerned with whether the cancer is surgically removable and whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes, patients with Stage 2 mesothelioma are still candidates for surgery, though one grouping of lymph nodes may be involved at this point.
Treating Stage 2 Mesothelioma
As mesothelioma progresses through the stages, it becomes more difficult to treat. Therefore, those with Stage 2 cancer have fewer options than those with Stage 1 meso. Also, life expectancy for Stage 2 patients goes down because the cancer has spread further.
Surgery may still be recommended in order to remove the primary tumor and the affected lymph nodes. In some cases, patients are already not candidates for surgery and may be prescribed less-invasive treatments. Chemotherapy and/or radiation is usually recommended either post-operatively (to kill any remaining cancer cells) or as the only sources of treatment at this stage.
- Cancer Help, UK: The Stages of Mesothelioma. http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=4465
- National Cancer Institute: Stages of Mesothelioma http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malignantmesothelioma/Patient/page2
- American Cancer Society: How is Malignant Mesothelioma Staged http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_3X_How_is_malignant_mesothelioma_staged_29.asp?sitearea=
Last modified: April 13, 2010.