What Are The Common Stages Of Mesothelioma?

After being diagnosed with Mesothelioma or malignant Mesothelioma to be exact; you have to expect more tests to be done to figure out whether the cancer cells have worked its way to the other parts of the body. This process is known as “staging”. To create a plan for treatment, the doctor should be aware of the stage that your cancer is in.

What Are The Common Stages Of Mesothelioma
What Are The Common Stages Of Mesothelioma

In this process, the doctors work on evaluating the location, the size of the tumor and determine whether the disease has spread to the other body parts. With “staging”, the doctors would also be able to assess if cancer has affected the normal bodily functions in any way.

Coming up with an effective treatment plan, the doctors require patients to go through a series of diagnostic tests such as tomography and radioactive imaging. It is imperative that doctors follow a generic methodology for staging cancer. This would allow them to exchange critical information that could be beneficial to their patients.

We are aware of the fact that there are several kinds of cancer affecting people all over the world but there is a common system in staging them. The TNM system as it is called was developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

(Note: The TNM system is not required for Lymphoma, brain and spinal cord cancers.)

What Is The TNM System?

To further explain how the system works; the doctors would assign a numeric value for “T”, “N” and “M” where:

The “T” – is used to categorize the original tumor. A numerical value between 0 and 4 is assigned to the tumor depending on the severity. This value in staging a tumor could also be a “Tx” which indicates that the cyst cannot be measured. “Tis” indicates with the intention of the tumor has not extended or full-grown into the adjacent tissues.

The “N” – is the type that procedure if cancer has extended to the surrounding lymph nodes. A value of 0-4 is also assigned where the higher the “N” value; the larger the area of the affected lymph nodes. “Nx” is the significance specified if the adjoining lymph nodes cannot be evaluated.

The “M” – is the type that determines if cancer has developed any advance metastases. “Distant Metastases” give details of the condition where the areas distant from the original site of the tumor confirm manifestations of the cancer cells. Furthermore, any presence of distant metastasis means that cancer has spread and entered the bloodstream.

This category has three and only three possible values. “Mx” property, metastasis can’t be evaluated, “0” denotes, no distant metastasis, and “1” which resources that metastasis has occurred.
After the three TNM values have been determined, the doctors will then designate cancer’s staging value, ranging from 0- IV. Some of these stages are divided into sub-categories such as IIa or IIb, depending on the severity of the disease. Once the doctors have established the appropriate cancer stage, they will then be able to give an accurate prognosis and establish an effective treatment procedure.

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