Pleural Mesothelioma: Stages, Treatment and Prognosis

Pleural mesothelioma is cancer in the protective lining of the lungs, known as pleura. This is caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of disease, accounting for 80-90% of all diagnoses. On average, patients survive six to twelve months after diagnosis. But, treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can prolong the life of the desire to live.

What is Pleural Mesuralelioma?

Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos fibers that are embedded in the lining of the lungs. Over time, fiber can cause inflammation and scarring. When scarring worsens, it can develop into a mesothelioma tumor.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma cancer.

Every year, around 2,500 people are diagnosed with this disease.

Cancer symptoms generally include shortness of breath, chest pain, dry cough and fatigue.

The diagnosis usually consists of a number of trials, including scans and biopsies.

Pleural mesothelioma is often treated with chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and immunotherapy.

A patient's prognosis will vary depending on the individual case, with an average life expectancy of six to twelve months.

What is the Prognosis for Pleural Mesothelioma?

Like all types of malignant mesothelioma, the prognosis for malignant pleural mesothelioma is poor. For patients who did not receive treatment, the median survival time was six months. However, some variations of treatment can increase the will of life, such as surgery combined with chemotherapy.

Pleural Mesothelioma Survival Rate
  • 1 year after diagnosis 73%
  • 3 years after diagnosis 23%
  • 5 years after diagnosis 12%
  • 10 years after diagnosis 4.7%

The first elements that influence the prognosis of patients with pleural malignant mesothelioma are:

Cell variation (histopathology)
The stage of the cancer
Patient's gender and age

Some large pleural mesothelioma patients are diagnosed with epithelioid cell types, the most common. Epithelioid cells are generally manifested in a solid sheet or arrangement of central ropes, meaning that such cells are tightly attached and do not metastasize tightly. They are also the most responsive to treatment. Generally, pleural mesothelioma patients with various epithelioid cells survive 19 months.

Other cell types, sarcomatoid and biphasic, are less common and feature a worse prognosis than epithelioid. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma does not respond well to treatment and aggressively metastasizes, leaving patients with an average prognosis of 8-10 months.

Patients with biphasic pleural mesothelioma experience intermediate willpower, depending on whether epithelioid or sarcomatoid cells are more dominant.

Based on recent data, in the last decade, malignant pleural mesothelioma patients have survived overall longer because of the available treatments and improved diagnostic methods. Some patients are now long-range survivors. Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2005 with an initial prognosis of 15 months. After treatment, he has survived more than a decade.

What are the symptoms of pleural mesuralelioma?

After asbestos exposure, it takes 10 to 50 years for symptoms of pleural mesothelioma to be present. Symptoms generally occur first in the chest cavity and respiratory methods.

When the disease becomes more advanced, new and worsening symptoms can arise. For example, symptoms of stage 4 mesothelioma pleura may include coughing up blood and difficulty swallowing.

Patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma can be diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions that occur together, which can affect the onset of symptoms. This includes:

Pleural plaque - Lime substance that manifests in the pleura due to mineral buildup, which is known as calcification.

Diffuse pleural thickening (DPT) - Fibrous gray tissue that fills the pleural space.

Asbestosis - Lung scarring (fibrosis).

These situations can also develop independently of pleural mesothelioma.

How Is Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Diagnosing pleural mesothelioma often consists of a partial trial. One or more scans, such as an X-ray or CT scan, can be performed primarily to identify the tumor or metastasis (spread of the disease). If a tumor is detected, a blood test can be carried out to look for certain biomarkers (levels of certain substances in the blood), which can help differentiate mesothelioma from other situations.

At present, a biopsy is the only system to verify the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Experiments such as thoracentesis or thoracoscopy can be carried out to take tissue or fluid samples for review. For thoracentesis, the doctor will insert a fine needle to remove the buildup of fluid in the chest.

Thoraxoscopy is more invasive. The doctor inserts a visual tube called a thoracoscope into the chest to examine the lungs and pleura around it. They can then take tissue samples or draw fluids for analysis. After the biopsy, the pathologist will study the cells to make a definitive diagnosis, including variations in cells and how the desired disease develops.

Pleural Mesothelioma Levels

As a component of diagnostic progress, a mesothelioma expert will also consider the stage of the disease, or how far it has spread. The patient stage is an important indicator of prognosis, and also helps decide the treatment options available.

The Desire Of Pleural Mesothelioma By Stage
  • Phase 1 22.2 months
  • Stage 2 20 months
  • Stage 3 17.9 months
  • Stage 4 14.9 months

The most common method used to determine the stage of pleural mesothelioma is Tumor, Node, Metastasis or TNM staging. The doctor will apply the method to print certain body zones according to tumor size, if the cancer has spread to the clear lymph nodes and if the cancer has spread to distant organs.

Pleural mesothelioma stages 1 and 2 display little or no metastasis, while the advanced stage may be far spread to the clear lymph nodes and other organs.

After the stage is set, the medical team can optimize the treatment agenda that is right on target for individual cases.

Pleural Mesothelioma doctor

Finding a pleural mesothelioma doctor is an important aspect of patient care. Because cancer is rare, many primary care doctors and cancer experts have little or no experience with this disease. An expert can precisely make a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma and optimize a personalized treatment agenda, often applying new research and clinical trials.

Pleural Mesuralelioma Treatment

Pleural mesothelioma is generally treated with a multimodal approach, combining standard treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The pleural mesothelioma treatment agenda will really depend on the type of cell and stage of the disease. The usual alternative, the treatment agenda is not intended to cure the disease.

Mesothelioma surgery is common for pleural mesothelioma patients. Surgery may be aggressive with the aim of extending the will of life, or less aggressive with the aim of palliative symptoms (relieving discomfort).

Surgery can be an alternative for malignant pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages. Pleurectomy / decortication (P / D) is one of the common surgical options that involves removal of the lining of the lungs and chest wall, as well as tissues and other affected organs.

Another trial is extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). More aggressive procedures include removing the affected lung, components of the diaphragm and lining of the heart and lungs. When clinical studies have recently discovered this operation can prolong life will to three years or more, specifically when applied multimodally with chemotherapy and / or radiation.

Doctors often recommend chemotherapy as an additional treatment before or after surgery, or as first-line therapy for patients with more advanced disease. Pemetrexed combination therapy (Alimta®) and cisplatin are most often prescribed, although researchers continue to test new combinations. Radiation therapy can also be recommended for certain patients to shrink the tumor, which can also help relieve symptoms.

When establishing treatment for pleural mesothelioma, the patient should determine the cost. Reports highlight that a series of treatments with Alimta® can cost more than $ 50,000, while operations such as pneumonectomy can cost at least $ 17,000.

Understanding treatment rates, together with the risks and benefits of available therapies, is truly important because patients and their loved ones make treatment decisions.

Due and Experimental Care

Because malignant pleural mesothelioma consists of a large number of mesothelioma cases, a large number of experimental treatment options concentrate on this specific variety. Promising treatments such as immunotherapy, gene therapy and photodynamic therapy have shown initial success in extending the desire to live in a variety of clinical trials.

Research also improves the efficacy of standard treatments. A preliminary phase clinical trial testing pleurectomy / decortication was replicated by washing chemotherapy in patients with stage 1 and stage 2 pleural mesothelioma.

The results show:
  • Survival on average is 20.3 months
  • Development-free survival averages 10.7 months

Overall survival is almost the same as typical life desires for early stage mesothelioma, the study noted extended survival time without disease progression when compared with standard treatment.

Studies continue to investigate mesothelioma treatment options to reduce recurrence rates and control disease progression for patients.