Basic Facts About Pericardial Mesothelioma Staging
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that generally occurs due to prolonged exposure to asbestos. There are two main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. The prognosis for these two different forms of mesothelioma is very different. The stages of mesothelioma depend on how far the tumors have progressed and the size of the tumors. The location and extent of mesothelioma also have a bearing on the various symptoms that a patient can experience.
Unfortunately, the stages of mesothelioma tend to not be strongly associated with the actual stages a patient may experience. One of the main reasons why this occurs is because the actual stages of mesothelioma can take years to develop. Because of this, the symptom will only become apparent at a later stage when it has become too advanced to treat. Many people often question whether or not they could accurately determine their stage of mesothelioma based on their current symptoms. Unfortunately, the symptoms of mesothelioma aren’t typically strongly associated with the advanced stages.
The two main stages of mesothelioma include the pleural mesothelioma and the peritoneal mesothelioma. In the plural form, the tumors usually begin as a lump that feels as if it’s pressing against the chest cavity. Over time, the lump begins to produce fluid filled pockets. These pockets are where the cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body.
Due to the lack of symptoms in the first stages of mesothelioma, many mesothelioma patients do not seek treatment until they are in the advanced stages. When the first symptoms occur, most mesothelioma patients feel little discomfort. However, these small tumors soon begin causing uncomfortable swelling, pain, and a sensation of breathlessness. Unfortunately, these symptoms do not generally appear until the tumors have grown large enough that they can be seen on a routine physical. By this point, most mesothelioma patients have many different problems, ranging from severe pain to problems breathing.
When a tumor is suspected, a biopsy is performed. During a biopsy, a physician inserts a needle into the lining of the lungs, making sure to find all of the lining and other tissues that compose the lungs. If the tumor is found to be benign, the physician will remove it. If the cells are malignant or cancerous, the physician may elect to remove part of the lining to see if it can be surgically removed, reducing the risk of further lung cancer from the affected cells.
The second method of pericardial mesothelioma staging is called the pericardial cavity staging system. This system differs from the first system in that the physician removes a sample of fluid from inside the patient’s heart. After the fluid has been drained, a picture of the mesothelioma is created by taking images of the various tumors. After being processed through a laboratory, a final report and a prognosis can be given. With new diagnostic techniques, more accurate staging systems are currently available and may lead to earlier diagnosis.