Stage 4 is the final and most severe of four mesothelioma cancer stages. Patients diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma have the least treatment options out of all stages combined, and the prognosis is usually short. However, keep in mind that each person is different, and lifespans will depend upon the individual patient.
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The Final Mesothelioma Stage
Once a victim enters the final stage of mesothelioma, the tumor has spread significantly throughout the body. Symptoms are at an all-time high and become more intense than the previous three stages.
At this point, physicians usually look for ways to alleviate symptoms and make life easier for patients instead of ways of removing cancer.
Stage 4 Symptoms
Severe pain throughout many areas in the body is a common symptom of stage 4 mesothelioma victims. This is due to the tumor spreading throughout different parts of the organs. The most prevalent pain comes from the chest and lungs, or from the abdomen for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.
If a tumor has made its way to the stomach or esophagus, victims will have a difficult time eating, drinking, and swallowing. They may also feel nauseous and vomit frequently.
Stage 4 Treatment
Palliative treatment is most often used when dealing with this stage of mesothelioma, meaning doctors most commonly seek treatment that focuses on ways to alleviate the severe pain instead of ways to remove the tumors.
One specific mesothelioma treatment involves removing the fluid buildup from the lungs. This helps the patient breathe better while lessening chest pain.
Chemotherapy helps shrink the tumors in order to provide pain relief, but most often, radiation therapy is the treatment used, since the procedure is less intrusive. In some instances, chemotherapy and radiation are combined, depending on the patient’s overall health and ability to sustain both treatments.
Most stage 4 victims are not candidates for surgery. The tumors at this point have spread too far, making it difficult to remove them all.
Although this is not always the rule, patients can face many risks if they go through surgery. Most advanced stage patients are not physically strong enough to withstand a surgical procedure, and their health is usually poor because of the toll of the disease.
Stage 4 Prognosis
Even though the prognosis is grim, patients in advanced stages should concentrate on pain management, getting rest, and eating healthy. Life expectancy is typically around six months after diagnosis, but each case is different.
Always consult with a mesothelioma physician regarding your own prognosis. Keep in mind that each person is unique, and diet, stress levels, pain tolerance, and other factors play into life longevity.
Getting Legal Help
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, regardless of what stage, there is a good chance you qualify for significant compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the experienced asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.