Mesothelioma Stages - Stage III
Stage III mesothelioma is considered advanced and has spread beyond the initial site into other organs of the body. As with all types of metastatic cancer, treating Stage III mesothelioma is a difficult proposition because multiple tumor sites are involved.
The further the disease has progressed, the higher the stage number the more difficult the mesothelioma is to treat
Options for mesothelioma treatment depend in part on the stage of the disease (how advanced it is). The further the disease has progressed, the higher the stage number and the more difficult the mesothelioma is to treat. The staging systems used for mesothelioma apply only to the pleural type, though any form of the disease will be evaluated using similar criteria to determine its extent and progress.
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The three staging systems that doctors use to assess mesothelioma are the Butchart, TNM and Brigham systems. Though all three overlap to some degree as indicated below, each system has its particular utility and applications.
Stage III, Butchart system: Cancer has spread through the diaphragm and into the mesothelium of the abdomen (peritoneum), and/or has spread to lymph nodes beyond those near the pleura.
Stage III, TNM system: Cancer is found on either the right or left pleura and has spread further into the lung, diaphragm or other vital organs in the chest. Cancer cells may also be found in the lymph nodes.
Stage III, Brigham system: Cancer has spread beyond the pleura and is considered inoperable. Lymph nodes are likely to be affected.