Doctors describe how advanced cancers like mesothelioma are given a four-stage grading system, where Stage I is the least advanced and most treatable, and Stage IV is the most advanced and most dangerous. For mesothelioma in particular, catching the disease early can extend life considerably, and even give cutting edge treatments a slight chance to the beat the disease.
In Stage I mesothelioma, the cancer cells are localized on one side of the chest wall, and may include cancer cells in the chest cavity between the lungs. In advanced Stage I, cancer may have infiltrated to the lining of the lungs and diaphragm.
In Stage II, cancer will have spread further in the chest wall, the lining of the lungs and diaphragm, the cavity between the lungs, and will have infiltrated the diaphragm itself, the lung tissue, or both. Stage II is considered an advanced state.
In Stage III, all of the above is likely to be true, and the cancer has also begun to infiltrate the body’s lymph nodes and the throat. Another presentation of Stage III mesothelioma is that is has begun to infiltrate the lining of the heart, the muscles between the ribs, and fatty tissue in the space between the lungs.
In Stage IV mesothelioma, cancer cells have spread more widely, usually through the diaphragm and into the abdomen, and has used the lymphatic and circulatory systems to spread to more distant sites, like the brain.
Surgery is an option for many people when the cancer is caught early, but because mesothelioma’s early symptoms tend to be vague and minor, the disease is often far too advanced for surgery by the time it’s identified in the body. There is help when you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana.
The Gertler Law Firm connects mesothelioma sufferers to important resources that protect them and their families. Call us today at (504) 581-6411 to learn your rights when fighting mesothelioma in Louisiana.