There are many wonderful people doing good work, often without much fanfare or great recognition; occasionally, a few decide to get in contact with me after they have viewed this blog. Such is the case with Ashley Stafford, who volunteers as a writer for TreatMesothelioma.org, a cancer advocacy organization based in the United States. Stafford offered an article on pericardial mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the lining of the heart and, like most forms of mesothelioma, is a result of being near or in contact with asbestos—or, simply put, by exposure to asbestos. This article provides necessary information on pericardial mesothelioma, which is one major reason that I agreed to publish it on my blog.
Mesothelioma Stages: Here is a quick video to learn more about mesothelioma.
Video Credit & Source: Mesothelioma Treatment Community
by Ashley Stafford
TNM staging system
TNM system for staging different types of mesothelioma cancer can be described as follows:
- T: This describes the primary tumor’s size and whether the disease has invaded the nearby tissues.
- N: This describes the extent to which mesothelioma has spread to the lymphatic system.
- M: This describes whether the metastasis cancer has spread past the point where it originated.
Pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart or the pericardium. Although less is known about pericardial mesothelioma’s pathology, researchers believe that it is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers. Once inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers move to the bloodstream and travel to the heart. Eventually, they lodge themselves in the pericardium where they aggravate the local tissues for many years and eventually cause mesothelioma cancer. Pericardial mesothelioma can be diagnosed any time during this period and staged using the TNM system.
Staging pericardial mesothelioma cancer
Stage 1: At this stage, the disease is characterized by small tumors that are localized without having spread to other organs or lymph nodes.
Stage 2: Stage 2 pericardial mesothelioma has a local tumor that has progressed into the tissue or organs further.
Stage 3: At this stage, pericardial mesothelioma has spread deeply into the local tissue and/or close lymph nodes.
Stage 4: This is the most serious stage of pericardial mesothelioma. At this stage, the disease has already invaded the local tissues and organs and has usually already started its progress on moving to distant organs and tissues.
What follows staging?
After being diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma at any stage, a patient should undergo further tests. This helps in determining the extent to which cancer has spread and affected the body of the patient. Staging is based on the original tumor’s metastasis to the other organs and tissues in the body. Basically, pericardial mesothelioma staging enables doctors to come up with the most appropriate treatment program for each patient. This is very important because it improves prognosis.
Nevertheless, it is important to get a second opinion after the first diagnosis and staging of pericardial mesothelioma. A mesothelioma specialist may provide innovative treatment options that will extend prognosis and quality of the patient’s life.
Pericardial mesothelioma treatment
Pericardial mesothelioma has limited treatment options since it is located close to the patient’s heart. Surgical and radiation interventions can damage the heart tissues. Nevertheless, pericardiectomy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other forms of advanced treatments can be used to treat pericardial mesothelioma. That’s why you should consult the best mesothelioma specialist if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma at any stage.
Ashley Stafford is a writer and online blogger with special interest in rare diseases and the conspiracies of curing cancer. Her newest and self-proclaimed challenge is to provide every detail on every type of mesothelioma, in each of the four stages. You can find a lot of her latest work at TreatMesothelioma.org where she is dedicating her time and talents as a volunteer writer. With a strong passion for helping veterans, raising mesothelioma awareness is her calling.
Copyright ©2016. Ashley Stafford. All Rights Reserved. It is republished here with the permission of the author.