Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer that, like any cancer, has the potential to spread to distant parts of the body. This is known as metastasis and it makes cancer lethal.
Learn when mesothelioma often begins metastasizing and where it typically spreads.
Every cancer begins with a single cell that divides at an abnormally fast rate. This often leads to the development of a “primary” tumor. It’s possible that cells from the primary tumor can spread to tissues in the surrounding area—also known as local metastasis.
What’s more dangerous is when cancerous cells spread to distant parts of the body. This makes curing or treating the cancer more difficult, depending on the organ impacted by the cancer.
Mesothelioma, in particular, affects the lining of the lungs. If metastasis does occur, the cancerous cells often spread beyond the lining of the lungs and travel to the diaphragm or lymph nodes. When cancerous cells reach the lymph nodes, it’s more likely that the cancer will spread to distant parts of the body, such as the brain. This makes the cancer significantly harder to treat.
All cancers have four stages: Stage I, Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV. Metastasis often occurs in a later stage of cancer. This often means that cancer can be cured in the “pre-cancer” stage or in Stage I because cells from the primary tumor have not yet spread, and the primary tumor may be completely removed in surgery.
Once metastasis occurs in the later stages, however, a surgical procedure may not cure the cancer. It can also become more difficult to treat the cancer with chemotherapy or radiation. It all depends on the patient’s age and overall health, as well as the affected organs.
Mesothelioma can be a devastating diagnosis, particularly because the disease can be prevented by avoiding exposure to asbestos. Many people, however, are not aware they are being exposed to asbestos because the material may be present in older buildings.
If you or someone you love developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, our attorneys can help you recover the compensation you need to get the medical care you deserve. We’re here to make this process easier for you.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (713) 787-3733 to schedule a consultation.