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.
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.
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