When an older adult is diagnosed with mesothelioma, doctors seek to determine what stage the disease is in. Doctors use staging to talk about how much cancer is in the body and whether it has spread. Knowing the stage of the disease also helps to determine how it should be treated and provides information concerning survival rates.
There are four stages of mesothelioma. Because pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, it is used in describing the stages below.
In stage 1 of the disease, the cancer is only in the lining of one lung. It may have spread toward the surface of the lining and closer to the chest wall or toward the inner part of the lining, bringing it closer to the lung. When mesothelioma is found during this stage, the patient has a better chance of survival. That’s because the cancer is more likely to react positively to treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.
While most of the cancer is still contained within the lining, in stage 2 some of it may have spread into the chest wall, nearby lymph nodes, the diaphragm, or the lung. In this stage, there is still a better chance of successful treatment that can increase the length of the patient’s life.
By stage 3 of the disease, cancer has spread significantly in the side of the body where it is located. It will have spread to at least one of the following: diaphragm, lung, the lining of the heart, or lymph nodes. How well the person will respond to treatment has to do with their general health and their age. If the patient is in overall good health and doctors believe they can handle surgery, they may be offered treatments that can increase their life expectancy.
At this point, cancer has spread way beyond the lining of the lung. Cancerous cells are present in larger areas in the wall of the chest, the diaphragm, lymph nodes, and the heart’s lining. Unfortunately, in this stage, many patients are not eligible to receive treatments that increase their lifespan. They typically live for less than one year. However, they will receive palliative care, which is care that helps to ease the symptoms. In some cases, palliative care could improve their prognosis, too.
Regardless of the stage of mesothelioma, your family member has been diagnosed with, home care can help them to live more comfortably. A home care provider can remind them to take medications prescribed by the doctor, which can help to alleviate symptoms. Home care providers can also assist them with whatever they need, such as making meals for them, cleaning up the house, or assisting them to use the bathroom.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring a Caregiver in Hillcrest, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663