Mesothelioma Stages and Mesothelioma Staging Systems

Mesothelioma stages are categorized in the medical community for evaluative benefit for the physician, the medical institution, participation in clinical trials, and advancements in mesothelioma treatment options. Staging systems are used to define mesothelioma stages; however, mesothelioma stages are far more descriptive for pleural mesothelioma than for peritoneal mesothelioma or pericardial mesothelioma. Mesothelioma staging systems have changed over time. As medical knowledge increases, mesothelioma staging systems advance.

By sectioning a progressive disease into stages, doctors can evaluate mesothelioma treatment options that have been proven successful. By defining mesothelioma stages in a universal staging system, international mesothelioma life expectancy statistics can be gathered. When a staging system gains international acceptance, it contributes greatly to the advancement of mesothelioma treatment options. Grouping similar variables for evaluation is beneficial to developing mesothelioma treatment options for different mesothelioma stages.

In 1976 the Butchart staging system identified four mesothelioma stages for diffuse pleural malignant mesothelioma by location. At stage one, the tumor is in one side of the pleural lining. At stage two, the tumor is malignant and has entered both lungs, and has the potential to spread. In stage three of Butchart’s mesothelioma stages, the tumor has entered the peritoneum (abdomen region), and at stage four, the cancer has spread through the blood stream.

It was simple, thus gained acceptance. However, it fails to address crucial issues. Medical experts suggest it fails to make survival correlations with mesothelioma stages. The Butchart mesothelioma staging system in its originality is obsolete for mesothelioma life expectancy statistics, however other mesothelioma stages have been developed from it, and many cancer institutions modify it for their evaluative purposes.

In the 1980s Chahinian added detailed tumor stages, lymph node stages and metastases stages to the pleural mesothelioma staging system. This staging system is referred to as TNM and is used within elaborative staging systems. In 1990 the UICC (Union Internationale Contre le Cancer) expounded on Chahinian’s mesothelioma stages. The Butchart, Chahinian and UICC mesothelioma staging systems were based on specific institution experience.

In 1999 the Bingham Hospital introduced a pleural mesothelioma surgical staging system in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The IMIG (International Mesothelioma Interest Group) in a 1995 Journal of Chest from the American College of Chest Physicians proposed international acceptance for a detailed universal staging system. This staging system demands precise tumor location, and is based on TNM and the International Lung Cancer Staging System.

Medical institutions will use the mesothelioma stages and staging system practical for their internal evaluative purposes. But the mesothelioma patient should be aware when discussing mesothelioma life expectancy and prognosis that mesothelioma staging systems differ, and staging systems still undergo scrutiny. No staging system includes all variables for treatment and prognosis. Factors such as tumor subtypes can make a significant difference in prognosis.

In its basic form, mesothelioma has two stages – localized and advanced. In most staging systems, localized mesothelioma is considered stage one. Stages two through four are advanced mesothelioma stages. Mesothelioma stages are generally defined by location, the severity of the tumor, or surgical needs. The stages of mesothelioma are dependent on the staging system used.

Mesothelioma stages are important considerations in treatment and prognosis. An accepted universal mesothelioma staging system can expedite medical research to find effective mesothelioma treatment options. Advances in clinical research will continue to contribute to the development of defining mesothelioma stages until precise correlations can be made. Until then, staging systems are a universal answer to evaluating mesothelioma treatment.

Reference: mesothelioma information, such as mesothelioma symptoms, mesothelioma treatments and mesothelioma stages.


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