Stage 2 Mesothelioma

In Stage 2 mesothelioma, tumors have started to spread to nearby organs, but prognosis is still better than with more advanced stages of the disease.

Key Points

  • 1

    A Stage 2 mesothelioma diagnosis indicates that the cancer has started to spread to surrounding areas.

  • 2

    Symptoms start to become more intense with Stage 2, and may include shortness of breath, chronic coughing, chest pain, and weight loss.

  • 3

    Curative treatment is still a possibility with stage two, usually through a multimodal plan of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation

  • 4

    Approximately one quarter of patients diagnosed at Stage 2 survive for at least 2 years.

Stage 2 is still considered an early stage of mesothelioma, but the cancer has started to spread to nearby organs and tissues, such as a single lung and possibly the lymph nodes. The mesothelioma has not, however, spread to more distant sites or locations beyond where the cancer originated. Symptoms also may become more apparent. Curative treatment options are still available for this stage of mesothelioma and help to improve a patient’s prognosis.

Prognosis of Stage 2 Mesothelioma

Even though the cancer has started to spread by this stage, prognosis is still better than the more advanced stages. While prognosis depends on a number of factors including the patient’s overall health, Stage 2 mesothelioma patients typically live 18 months or more after being diagnosed.

Stage 2 Defined By Three Staging Systems

The Butchart System, the Tumor, Node, Metastasis System (TNM), and the Brigham System are the three systems used to stage mesothelioma. These systems each define the stages of mesothelioma with slight differences.

According to the three systems, Stage 2 is defined as follows:

Butchart SystemTNM SystemBrigham System
The cancer has spread to the pleural membrane of both lungs, and possibly the esophagus or heart lining (pericardium). There may be some lymph node involvement.The mesothelioma 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.There may be some lymph node involvement, but patients are still eligible for surgery.

Symptoms of Stage 2 Mesothelioma

Because of the minor spreading of the cancer in Stage 2 mesothelioma, symptoms become more noticeable and will get more severe as the disease continues to spread.

Common symptoms of Stage 2 include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

Stage 2 Treatment Options

Stage 2 mesothelioma patients are often eligible for multimodal therapy with a curative intent, or a combination of the three standard mesothelioma treatments aimed toward remission.

The standard approach for Stage 2 mesothelioma patients is usually a combination of the following:

SurgeryChemotherapyRadiation
Typically, a patient with Stage 2 mesothelioma will undergo curative surgery, such as an extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy with decortication.Some form of chemotherapy, such as neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemo, will be administered to kill any remaining cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients may also be given heated chemotherapy, or cytoreduction with HIPEC. Cisplatin and pemetrexed are most often prescribed for Stage 2 mesothelioma.Postoperative radiation may also be part of a patient’s treatment plan in order to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Radiation may also be given before surgery and/or years after treatment to control any recurrent tumor growth.

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Sources & About the Writer [+]
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  • About The Writer Photo of Dan Heil Dan Heil

    Dan is a contributing writer for The Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center. He hopes to help educate on everything related to a mesothelioma diagnosis and answer any questions patients or family members may have.