Stage 4 Mesothelioma

Stage 4 mesothelioma is the most advanced stage of pleural mesothelioma. By this point, malignant mesothelioma tumors have metastasized, or spread towards other parts of the body beyond the point of origin. It is possible cancer has dispersed to the lymph nodes and several organs of the body; including the brain, lining of the heart, spine, and prostate. The average life expectancy of stage 4 is roughly 12 months.

Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Stages

What is Stage 4 Mesothelioma?

Stage 4 mesothelioma is the final, most advanced stage of pleural mesothelioma. By this point, malignant mesothelioma tumors have metastasized or spread towards other parts of the body beyond the point of origin. It is possible cancer has dispersed to the lymph nodes and several organs of the body; including the brain, lining of the heart, spine, and prostate.

With the amount of spreading, it has become the most difficult stage to treat for two leading reasons – lack of treatment options that have the ability to remove all tumors, and the inability to withstand aggressive surgeries due to a patient’s decline in health.

Mesothelioma Stages

Stage 4 Symptoms

The symptoms of stage 4 mesothelioma are caused by the growth of metastasis and tumors. Tumor growth within the chest will cause difficulty breathing and an uncomfortable feeling in patients. New signs may emerge as mesothelioma metastasizes to new areas of the body.

Common symptoms of Stage 4 mesothelioma cancer include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Buildup of fluid in the abdomen or chest
  • Dysphagia (This term refers to the difficulty swallowing)
  • Hemoptysis (Means coughing up blood)
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in the chest area
  • Fever
  • Tightness in the chest
What is Mesothelioma?

Types of Malignant Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma arises in the membrane which surrounds the lung, called the pleura. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this deadly cancer.

Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is less common but is more often found in women than in men.

Pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.


Exploring Common and Alternative Stage 4 Treatments

Treatment options that aim to extend survival become the most limited at Stage 4, as there are no curative treatments exist for any stage of mesothelioma at this point and due to a patient’s inability to withstand aggressive surgeries.

 Common treatments patients may be able to participate in:

  • chemotherapy helps to alleviate symptoms and extend survival by slowing, and sometimes shrinking, tumors (most frequently used in stage 4)
  • clinical trials may investigate treatment combinations for late-stage mesothelioma or test newer options (e.g. immunotherapy)
  • radiation therapy might have the ability to reduce the size of tumors; this can decrease pain, improve breathing, and lessen chest pressures
  • surgery patients may benefit from are less-extensive surgeries, intended to remove problematic tumors for pain-relief and comfortable breathing, or to remove as much tumorous mass as possible

Alternative therapies (also referred to as natural therapies/supportive care) can also be beneficial to patients. Some of these natural mesothelioma healing techniques include:

  • acupressure
  • acupuncture
  • herbal therapies
  • homeopathy
  •  mind-body therapies (yoga, qigong, and tai chi)
  • naturopathic medicine
  • osteopathic medicine
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • well-balanced nutrition

Partaking in curing methods may also depend on a few circumstances – including the patient’s stage of cancer, pre-existing health disorders, and basic activeness and physical health. Nonetheless, a patient will be offered as many treatment options as possible.

Finding Peritoneal Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Explaining the Factors
Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy for Patients with Stage 4 Mesothelioma

The life expectancy of a patient is highly influenced by their cancer stage, rate of tumor growth, and overall health. The median survival rate of patients who undergo treatment is about 12 months. However, if patients choose to not partake in treatments (depending on their stage of mesothelioma), this prognosis could significantly drop.

The grade of tumor and its average survival rate is as follows:

  • Grade 1 – 28 months
  • Grade 2 – 14 months
  • Grade 3 – 5 months

Whether or not a patient chooses to participate in the available treatments is their decision. Remember, every patient is different. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consult with a doctor to determine a prognosis, and what treatments could be available.