Although cancer cells have not spread far by Stage 2 mesothelioma, they have started to enter nearby lymph nodes. Despite potential spreading, the prognosis may still be favorable as numerous treatments are available to extend life expectancy. At this stage, some patients have a two-year survival rate of about 38 percent.
Stage 2 tumors have formed in the protective tissue lining the lungs known as pleura. It is possible the cancer has grown into the lung itself or into the diaphragm – the breathing muscle located below the lungs.
The primary difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2 pleural mesothelioma involves the spreading of cancer cells into the lymph nodes near the main tumor site.
The collection of filters that clear the bloodstream of germs is known as lymph nodes. Cancer cells can spread into the bloodstream and throughout the body once the lymphatic system is reached.
The case is considered Stage 2 (or higher) once the mesothelioma cells have spread to the lymph nodes – regardless of whether the tumor grows are considerably small.
Peritoneal mesothelioma does not have a formal staging system. It is defined by doctors as Stage 2 if there is some lymph node involvement and local tumor growth.
Patients may benefit from multimodal therapy, so long as their health is strong enough to undergo an aggressive treatment plan.
Multimodal therapy includes a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy with tumor-removing surgery. This combination is considered to be the “gold standard” for mesothelioma treatment to date. Due to the success of the therapy, many patients have lived years beyond the average prognosis.
Numerous experimental therapies with promising results are often available to early-stage patients as well.