Characteristics of Mesothelioma stages
The most kinds of cancer has criteria systems show its’ wide distribution. These criteria consider the size and number of tumors, their location and the kinds of cancer cells.
One of the most common systems of Mesothelioma staging is the system of Butchart, whose stages are focused on the size and location of primary tumor.
However, one of the most complete staging methods is TNM system, taking into account three factors: the size of tumor, the existence of lymph gland injuries or metastases of other organs and tissues.
In general, any kind of cancer can be either localized, i.e., that this kind of cancer affects the tissues of certain areas, or extended (it means that the cancer affects other organs and areas all over the body).
Particularly, TNM system describes the malignant Mesothelioma in the following way:
I stage. It is an early stage of malignant Mesothelioma. The cancer cells can be found only in the pleural membrane on the one side of the body. At this stage cancer doesn’t spread to the glands and other organs. Mesothelioma is very rarely diagnosed at this stage, as the warning signs are often ambiguous.
II stage. This stage means that the cancer spreads not only to the pleural membrane but also to the lung or diaphragm. There are no metastases in the glands.
III stage. The cancer can spread to the chest, diaphragmatic pleura or lungs. At this stage the cancer can spread to the chest or chest layers, maybe even to the muscles or ribs. Now the disease can penetrate to the mediastinum organs (gullet and glands, backbone and perhaps chest pleura). At the third stage Mesothelioma can affect even the heart muscle. The tumor can be large or small, and the cancer cells can spread to the lymph glands, organs and remote structures all over the body.
IV stage. Mesothelioma cannot be removed