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Why Does My Cancer Need To Be Staged?  How Is It Done?

Staging is the process by which your doctors get an idea of how big your cancer is and how far it may have spread. Staging is critical to treatment.  Patients with small tumors that have not spread far can have potentially curative surgery.  Patients whose mesothelioma has spread all over the area and into the lymph glands, whether inside the chest or abdomen, or whose tumor has metastasized, have many fewer options.

Once you have the diagnosis of mesothelioma, staging will be going on as your other tests proceed. Some information can be learned from scans, such as CT scans, MRI scans, or even PET scans show areas where sugar is actively being metabolized and spots of mesothelioma can light up.

If your biopsy was done by thoracoscopy or laparoscopy, the doctor may have been able to see if the mesothelioma has grown into the adjacent tissue.  He may have seen if pleural mesothelioma has grown into the chest wall, or diaphragm, how much the tumor has spread over and into the lung.  He may have been able to see if there appeared to be involved lymph nodes, and where they are, depending on where exactly the thoracoscope was placed.

During a laparoscopy, the doctor may have been able to see if the tumor has spread all over the abdomen. Sometimes complete, accurate staging cannot be done without a surgical procedure. Most of the standard, staging protocols are for pleural mesothelioma. Staging of a cancer refers to a way of looking at where it is, how big it is, and how much it has spread.  A small cancer that is confined tin location is always easier to treat than a large cancer that is invading tissue around it and has spread to other parts of the body.

Mesothelioma staging systems refer to pleural mesothelioma. There are three,.  The oldest is called the Butchart System.  It is based on the size of the tumor and hour four stages.  The TNM system, which was developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer, is the most commonly used system.  It uses values for Tumor, Nodes and Metastases, to stage the cancer.  The earliest mesothelioma would be T1N0M0, and the most advanced T4N3M1.

The Brigham staging system is based on the surgical removability of the tumor. It is the newest, but used the least. In all the staging systems, Stage 1 is local disease that is potentially removable surgically, and everything above Stage 1 is considered advanced.  To get more information on understanding what your options are visit mesothelioma lawyer center