How fast mesothelioma spreads from its point of origin to other parts of the body depends on where the cancer started, the type of cells involved, the stage of the cancer, and what type of treatment the patient received. Mesothelioma typically begins in the pleura, or the lining that surrounds the lungs.
It may also start in the lining around the abdomen, heart, or testicles. Mesothelioma may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body, via the bloodstream or lymph nodes.
How Mesothelioma Can Spread
Angiogenesis, a process that forms new blood vessels, allows mesothelioma cancer cells to reach the bloodstream. If cancer cells are carried elsewhere in the body via the bloodstream or via lymph nodes, those cells can cause secondary tumors to develop in other organs.
How the Type of Tumor, Origin, and Stage of Mesothelioma Can Affect the Spread of the Illness
How fast mesothelioma spreads depends in part on the type of tumor. Tumors made of epithelial cells are generally less aggressive and spread more slowly than other types of tumors. Most people with mesothelioma have an epithelioid form.
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is more resistant to treatment. Biphasic mesothelioma consists of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid tumors. Both sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma spread more quickly than epithelioid mesothelioma. Patients with these types of tumors generally have fewer treatment options and do not live as long as those with epithelioid tumors.
The areas mesothelioma most commonly spreads to include the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, and spleen. Pleural mesothelioma, which begins in the lining around the lungs, tends to spread to the liver, adrenal glands, kidneys, and the opposite lung. Pleural mesothelioma and the peritoneal form of the illness, which starts in the abdomen, are more likely to metastasize to distant regions than pericardial mesothelioma, which begins in the lining around the heart, and testicular mesothelioma.
Stages of Mesothelioma
Cancer is identified by stages that indicate how much the disease has progressed. In stage 1, 2, and 3 mesothelioma, cancer spreads locally in the bodily cavity where the tumor originally developed. Mesothelioma may also spread regionally to lymph nodes in stage 1, 2, or 3. At stage 1, mesothelioma is least likely to spread, and patients have the best prognosis and life expectancy.
Patients who have stage 4 mesothelioma have the greatest risk of distant metastasis. In 10 to 50 percent of patients with stage 4 mesothelioma, the cancer may spread to more distant parts of the body.
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Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
If mesothelioma is caught early and treated aggressively with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, patients have a lower risk of the cancer spreading. Tumor Treating Fields, a recently approved treatment, may also delay or prevent the spread of mesothelioma.
When mesothelioma spreads, that may not be apparent since metastasis does not always cause noticeable symptoms. If a patient reports symptoms that are not typically associated with mesothelioma, a doctor may order an imaging test, such as a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan, to find out whether the mesothelioma has spread and, if so, which parts of the body are affected.
The survival rate for mesothelioma is generally low. In most cases, by the time mesothelioma is diagnosed, it is already at an advanced stage. If the cancer has metastasized to distant regions of the body, doctors may focus on treating a patient’s symptoms and making the individual as comfortable as possible, rather than trying to cure the cancer. A patient’s age and overall health can also affect prognosis and life expectancy.
Seek Financial Compensation for Your Illness
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, most people who have mesothelioma suffered exposure to asbestos, often long before the illness was diagnosed. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibers that were used for decades in building materials, automotive parts, fireproof equipment, appliances, cosmetics, and other household items. Many people came into contact with it on the job, and some workers even brought asbestos fibers home on their bodies and clothing and exposed their family members to the carcinogen.
If you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical treatments, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek justice and financial recovery.
Contact Our Firm for Legal Assistance
You may think that you could not afford to hire an attorney, but that should not be a concern. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm operates on contingency. That means that if you come to us seeking help with a personal injury case, you will not have to pay us anything up front. We will only collect a fee if we obtain a financial award on your behalf.
We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the business that was responsible for your mesothelioma. Even if the company has declared bankruptcy, we may be able to secure a financial award from a trust fund set up to compensate mesothelioma patients. Contact us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your legal options with a member of our team.