Stage 1 Mesothelioma

Stage 1 Mesothelioma

Stage 1 mesothelioma

By Stage 1 mesothelioma the tumors remain localized in and around the tissue lining of the lung; making it the least advanced stage of mesothelioma. Patients are likely to have a better prognosis, as many different treatment options are available in order to offer a longer life expectancy.

For some patients, the 2-year survival rate is between 41 to 46 percent.

Tumors have developed on the pleural lining – the thin protective tissue around the lungs, at Stage 1 pleural mesothelioma.

By this point cancer cells have not yet dispersed through the bloodstream or the lymph nodes.

Control of the cancer ultimately prolongs life – early stages have a better prognosis, as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation are more effectively controlled at Stage 1 compared to the later stages of mesothelioma.

The first stage of pleural mesothelioma consists of two divided parts: 1A and 1B.

  • Stage 1A: On one side of the chest small tumors have developed in one or both layer of the pleural lining.

  • Stage 1B: The tumors begin to spread into additional tissues along the pleural lining. This can include lung tissue below the lining or outside of the chest wall. Spreading of the cancer can also occur within the mediastinum – area between the lungs, or the diaphragm – the muscle under the lungs.

The cancer has not spread to any lymph nodes or distant sites throughout the body at Stage 1 diagnosis, regardless of mesothelioma dispersion into nearby tissues. While peritoneal mesothelioma has no official staging system, if the cancer has not spread beyond the lining of the abdomen it is usually considered as early-stage cancer.

Facts of Stage 1 Mesothelioma

  • Often does not cause major symptoms

  • If patient is eligible for surgery, cancer removal can be performed.

  • Combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation is recommended.

  • The survival rate for two years is between 41 and 46 percent.

First Signs of Mesothelioma

At stage 1, mesothelioma cancer is rarely diagnosed.

By this stage patients either do not show signs of symptoms, or the symptoms are so mild that patients do not feel as though they need medical attention. For this reason, mesothelioma cancer is rarely diagnosed at Stage 1.

Discovery of Stage 1 cases is often accidental. It is typically found when doctors are looking for something else through a CT scan or X-ray. Precautionary cancer screenings for patients with a known history of asbestos exposure may also help to catch Stage 1 early on.

Mesothelioma symptoms may be mistaken by patients and doctors for common diseases such as pneumonia or the flu.

The symptoms are the result of tumor growth as it begins to wrap and constrict itself around the affected lung, causing difficulty in breathing, a chronic cough, or pain.

Fluid buildup between the two layers of the pleural lining can also cause symptoms, as there is more pressure on the lung; this is known as pleural effusion. This condition is a common sign of cancer formation in the lungs.

Defining Stage 1 Mesothelioma

To evaluate how far pleural mesothelioma has spread three staging systems are used; some of which define Stage 1 differently.

  • Often does not cause major symptoms

  • If patient is eligible for surgery, cancer removal can be performed.

  • Combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation is recommended.

  • The survival rate for two years is between 41 and 46 percent.

Stage 1 Mesothelioma Treatment Options

A multimodal approach, combining chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, is recommended by doctors for Stage 1 patients.

The most treatment options are available to patients with localized cancer. However, the eligibility for treatment can be dependent on the overall health of the patient, as this is an important factor. In order for patients to handle an aggressive treatment plan, they must be in good health.

Patients undergoing multimodal therapy may live longer than the average prognosis of mesothelioma.


Pleural mesothelioma treatment offers two major surgery options. The first removes diseased tissue from around the lung, while the second removes the lung itself in addition to the tissue removal.

The most suitable option for the patient is dependent on how far the cancer has spread and how much surgery the patient’s body can handle.


The most common chemotherapy drugs for Mesothelioma are Alimta and Cisplatin.

A patient usually receives chemotherapy after recovering from surgery, however, chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery or on its own. The primary goal is to kill any remaining cancer cells in their body.

Radiation Therapy

To prevent local recurrence following surgery, doctors traditionally use radiation therapy. When radiation therapy is applied prior to surgery, survival rates may improve for certain patients.

Clinical Trials

Many early-stage patients qualify for mesothelioma clinical trials, so long as they are in otherwise good health.

Experimental drugs and therapies, not yet approved for mainstream use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are tested during these voluntary research studies.

Can Mesothelioma Be Cured if Caught Early?

Unfortunately, for any stage of mesothelioma, there is no cure. Though the prognosis for Stage 1, compared to later stages, is favorable – pleural mesothelioma is nonetheless an aggressive cancer that does not yet have a cure.

In previous years, many patients have not survived longer than two years following their diagnosis.

Many mesothelioma specialists are optimistic that this form of cancer can soon be managed as a chronic disease rather than as a terminal illness, but in the hope of discovering a cure, doctors and researchers are working every day to develop treatment strategies.

With help of new treatment techniques over the years, a number of notable survivors of mesothelioma— especially those with peritoneal mesothelioma— have outlived their prognosis.

Survival Rate for Stage 1 Mesothelioma

The two-year survival rate for patients is approximately 41 to 46 percent while the five-year survival rate is 13 to 16 percent.

To determine the survival rate, statistics from thousands of patients are calculated. The percentage of patients who were still living a certain time following the diagnosis is indicated by these rates.

These rates can act as a general idea of what patients may expect from an individual diagnosis in the present, as they only explain what a large group of patients had experienced in the past.

The cancer cell type, physical fitness level, and patient’s age are all dependable factors that could affect the life expectancy of a patient with Stage 1 mesothelioma.

Every mesothelioma case is different, as it is a complex and rare disease.

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