Stage 3 Mesothelioma
In stage 3 mesothelioma, the cancer has invaded an entire area of the body and is considered locally advanced. Mesothelioma can progress to this point in several ways. Either the main tumor grows large enough to put pressure on nearby organs and grow into them, or cancer cells can break off the tumor, attach to lymph vessels and travel through the body via the lymph nodes. If the cancer invades the lymph system, or enters the bloodstream, there is a good chance it may spread to distant organs, advancing to stage 4.
At this stage, treatment typically focuses on pain relief and extending life expectancy. While surgical removal of tumors is possible, it is only recommended for patients in good health. Other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be considered optimal treatment methods.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma
A stage 4 mesothelioma diagnosis means the cancer has spread to multiple areas of the body.
Because the spread of the disease is so extensive at this stage, few treatment options may have a profound effect on the cancer. Surgically removing tumors is not usually possible at this stage because they have spread throughout so many different parts of the body. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be used to slow cancer growth and alleviate symptoms.