Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment can be possible if it is accurately diagnosed in time. The staging of the aggressive, asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma is an important factor in deciding what treatment plan will be pursued. Unfortunately, mesothelioma’s long latency period means that diagnosing the disease in Stage I or even Stage II is not very common. By the time an accurate diagnosis of the cancer is made, it has usually progressed to Stage III or Stage IV.
In some cases, however, if a patient has told his or her doctor about any asbestos exposure, and the doctor has carefully scrutinized the patient’s symptoms, an early diagnosis during Stage I or Stage II mesothelioma is possible for Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment.
In Stage II, the cancer has enlarged to form a tumor. It may also have already spread into the lung tissue or diaphragm or to both layers of the pleura (the outer lining of the lung and the inner lining of the chest cavity) on one side of the body. Occasionally, a mesothelioma patient will be deemed strong enough, and the tumor still localized enough, that surgery to remove the tumor remains an option. However, in most instances, the removal of the lung or the lung’s outer lining (for pleural mesothelioma, for example) are only feasible in Stage I. Additionally, the patient may have lymph nodes that contain cancerous cells in Stage II.
Rather, some semi-invasive procedures that can be undertaken in the second stage include thoracentesis and paracentesis, which relieve pain associated with mesothelioma. These procedures attempt to reduce the fluid buildup in the pleural or peritoneal cavity, respectively, as this common symptom can make the patient’s breathing difficult and painful. Paracentesis and thoracentesis both involve the use of a needle, generally attached to a catheter, which is inserted into the affected cavity and used to extract the fluid. They are often performed on an outpatient basis, although, in some cases, they may require an overnight hospital stay.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Additionally, Stage II mesothelioma patients will often receive either chemotherapy or radiation. These traditional methods of reducing the symptoms of cancer can help patients find relief from chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Brachytherapy is a form of radiation in which small, radioactive roads are inserted either directly into the tumor or into the area surrounding it with the goal of killing the cancer cells in that area. A stay in the hospital is usually required for brachytherapy, as the patient will be rendered radioactive during the course of treatment.
Additional Treatment Options
As with Stage I mesothelioma, a variety of clinical trials may be available for patients who are interested in volunteering to test experimental procedures and medications. These can also help alleviate the symptoms of the cancer in addition to providing a service to science.
Alternative therapies – massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, nutrition, and supplements – are often employed in combination with traditional treatments. This is because they help combat the side effects of radiation or chemotherapy and provide relaxation the patient would otherwise be unable to achieve.