What is Stage 4 Mesothelioma?

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Health

Stage 4 Mesothelioma is the final stage of the Mesothelioma disease. By the time a patient has entered Stage 4, the malignant mesothelioma tumors have spread to different parts of the body, away from the origin of the condition, in a process known as metastasis. Locations vary, but the cancer tends to spread to organs such as the brain and spine, as well as the lymph nodes.

Stage 4 Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, as there are limited viable treatments and patients may not be suitable for surgery because they are often too weak for invasive procedures.

While Stage 4 Mesothelioma more often than not results in a terminal diagnosis, because of the great advancements in palliative care, it is possible to have a good quality of life. Many patients are able to survive for many years after being given their prognosis. Of course, the life expectancy varies from person to person, and a patient’s outlook normally depends on the speed at which tumors are growing and how responsive patients are to treatments.

What are the Symptoms of Stage 4 Mesothelioma?

When a patient reaches Stage 4, it is common for the patient to experience symptoms such as breathlessness and severe coughing. Symptoms at Stage 4 are not isolated to the chest cavity, and other symptoms that the patient can suffer from include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest area, as well as night sweats and hemoptysis (coughing up blood). Other reported symptoms include night fevers, dysphagia and pain the abdomen as well as prolonged fatigue.

In some cases, patients can suffer from cachexia. This is not widely known, but is a syndrome that results in weight loss and weakness, as well as muscle atrophy and appetite loss.

Stage 4 Mesothelioma can result in a high platelet count (thrombocytosis) and in some cases anemia.

Have You Received a Stage 4 Diagnosis?

Here are some tips…

  • Try and get a second opinion from a dedicated mesothelioma specialist
  • Find out if there are any clinical trials in your local area. Eligibility varies depending on your personal circumstances.
  • Try and exercise as much as possible and focus on keeping to a healthy diet. This helps with mood and can improve your quality of life.
  • See if there are any support groups in your area.
  • Try and seek inspiration by reading stories of people who are living with Mesothelioma.

For more information on Mesothelioma in general, we would recommend that you visit The Asbestos Cancer Organization.

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