Since the condition of mesothelioma can go years without being diagnosed, due to latent symptoms, it can progress into its later stages before being treated. Unfortunately, this often results in the metastasis of the disease, where the cancer spreads from its original location to other parts of the body. Mesothelioma may spread through the lymph nodes or the bloodstream to other organs.
In the case of pleural mesothelioma — the most common form of mesothelioma — the disease is located in or near the lungs and may spread more quickly than other types of cancer, since the lungs transfer oxygen throughout the body. In order to view the progression of mesothelioma in the body, doctors often use imaging tests, such as MRIs or CT scans. Physicians may suspect the progression of mesothelioma in the body when symptoms are present that are not generally associated with mesothelioma.
Doctors determine the progression of mesothelioma by breaking the disease's progress into various stages of development using the Butchart staging system:
If mesothelioma has metastasized and spread to other parts of the body, it is likely that the treatment of the disease will have to be altered from its original plan. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to fight the cancer, and there may also be alternate treatments that are effective for cases of metastasizing mesothelioma.
For more information regarding the course of treatment that is best for both the original disease and the metastases, it is best to speak with an experienced oncologist who has experience in treating asbestos-related diseases.
For more information about mesothelioma metastases and your legal options, contact an attorney at the San Francisco Bay Area offices of Kaiser Gornick LLP. Speak with one of our experienced lawyers at an initial consultation.