Mesothelioma is a rare cancer affecting the pleura, or the protective lining of the lungs, and stage 4 mesothelioma is the final and most serious stage. At this point, the tumors have spread to the patient's chest wall, pericardium, diaphragm and other organs, such as the liver. Kentucky residents should know what the symptoms and treatments are.
The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and tightness in the abdomen. Patients may also experience chronic fatigue, night sweats, fever, pain and weight loss. Excessive fluid may develop in the chest and abdomen as well. Mesothelioma, at any stage, may be located by an MRI or PET scan. A biopsy can usually determine the stage of the cancer.
Often, treatment is not possible due to the cancer spreading to areas that cannot be operated on. However, patients could get personalized therapy like chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy. Pleurodesis, which can prevent fluid buildup in the space between the pleura and the chest wall, may not be effective at stage 4 because the tumors could prevent the lung from adequately re-expanding.
In general, surgery cannot be offered to people with stage 4 mesothelioma. As patients near death, it becomes necessary to undergo palliative care. To know what their best treatment option is, though, patients are encouraged to go through a clinical trial.
Many people develop mesothelioma because of direct or indirect exposure in the workplace. Some may receive a delayed or incorrect cancer diagnosis and find themselves going through unnecessary treatments or more extensive treatments than they would have required. In other words, when another's negligence is behind the development of the cancer, victims may be able to file for compensation. This is where a lawyer may come in, evaluate the case and build it up with the help of investigators and other third parties.