What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an infrequent and fatal cancer that develops from the mutating of cells in the mesothelium (protecting lining that covers several internal organs of the human body). Mesothelioma cancer is primarily caused by perpetual exposure to asbestos fibers. The majority of people who develop mesothelioma have previously worked in jobs where they are in close contact with asbestos.
Mesothelioma commonly develops in the outer lining of the lungs and the internal wall of the chest cavity. Symptoms associated with the disease include: shortness of breath (due to a build-up of fluid between the lungs and the chest wall), heavy coughing and unexplained weight loss.
In most cases, diagnosing mesothelioma is extremely difficult. The complexities associated with accurate diagnosis stem from the condition’s slow-developing symptoms. Often, mesothelioma symptoms will remain innocuous for decades following the initial development of the cancer.
Similar to other medical conditions, mesothelioma is subcategorized into different stages. As mesothelioma cancer progresses the prognosis becomes dire. The insidiousness of mesothelioma cancer is met with its inconspicuousness to create a deadly cocktail—the majority of mesothelioma patients die within one year of diagnosis.
What is Stage 4 Mesothelioma?
Patients diagnosed with Stage 4 Mesothelioma are in the last and most advanced portion of the cancer. Consequently, these patients have less mesothelioma treatment options; by the time mesothelioma cancer evolves into stage 4, symptoms and tumor growth drastically intensify when compared to previous stages. Stage 4 mesothelioma carries an extremely prognosis; however, mesothelioma treatment options are available to help patients cope with the severe pains.
A stage 4 mesothelioma diagnosis is determined by the extent of how far the mesothelioma cancer has metastasized from its origin point. If the mesothelioma tumors, which initiated in the pleura, spread to the diaphragm, chest wall, lining of the heart or other areas, a stage 4 diagnoses will be rendered. Patients in the most advanced stage of mesothelioma cancer are deemed inoperable; invasive procedures, such as surgery, are avoided because of the substantial risks involved.
Mesothelioma Symptoms: Stage 4
Because Stage 4 mesothelioma impacts several parts of the human body, those suffering from the most-advanced form of mesothelioma cancer will invariably experience a number of symptoms in various locations throughout their body. Two of the more common mesothelioma symptoms associated with stage 4 include: severe chest pains and difficulty breathing. Sharp abdominal pains are also frequently associated with Stage 4 Mesothelioma, especially if the mesothelioma cancer has spread to the lower region of the abdomen.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options: Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Stage 4 mesothelioma treatment options are palliative—they are only administered to mitigate the symptoms. For instance, Stage 4 mesothelioma treatment options are not curative; they are only administered to drain the excess fluids from the pleural cavity. As stated above, Stage 4 mesothelioma patients are not eligible to undergo surgeries, as their bodies are not physically able to withstand such aggressive procedures. If surgery, by chance, is administered on a stage 4 mesothelioma patient, it is only rendered to remove large tumors. This surgery aims to reduce pressure on the lungs and alleviate the attached symptoms.
Because radiation therapy presents fewer side effects than chemotherapy or surgeries, it may be implemented to relieve stage 4 mesothelioma patients of their suffering. Some medical professionals will use a mix of palliative radiation therapy and minor surgery of large tumors to ease symptoms. This mesothelioma treatment option is undertaken to relieve symptoms and shrink tumors. Although none of these stage 4 mesothelioma treatment options do not cure the mesothelioma cancer, patients may elect to receive them to improve their quality of life.
Mesothelioma Prognosis for Stage 4 Patients:
Patients stricken with Stage 4 mesothelioma have a poor prognosis. This pessimistic outlook is attached to stage 4 mesothelioma patients because the mesothelioma cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body. The widespread cancer limits the available mesothelioma treatment options. On average, stage 4 mesothelioma options have an average life expectancy of six and a half months after the diagnosis is made.
Roughly 30% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer receive diagnosis while in the 4th stage. If you are diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma you may be eligible to file a mesothelioma claim. These legal actions are undertaken by individuals who have contracted the disease due to negligence on part of an employer regarding asbestos exposure. Successful mesothelioma claims will provide compensation for the pain and suffering endured from the cancer.