NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - page 19

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Version 1.2012
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Part 5: Treating mesothelioma
The recommended treatment for mesothelioma is based on two features of the cancer.
One of these features is the clinical stage. The clinical stage is a rating of the extent
of a tumor based on tests before treatment. The AJCC (
A
merican
J
oint
C
ommittee on
C
ancer) staging system is most often used for mesothelioma. In this system, there are
four cancer stages based on the growth and spread of the cancer described below:
Stages of mesothelioma
Stage I
The tumor hasn’t grown beyond the pleura where it started.
Stage II
The tumor has grown into either the diaphragm or the lung.
Stage III
The tumor has grown into 1) the first layer of the chest wall
or a confined area of the other layers, 2) the fat between the
lungs, or 3) the pericardium, and/or
The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or the nodes
at the base of the breast bone.
Stage IV
The tumor has grown into 1) a wide area of the chest wall, 2)
the peritoneum, 3) an organ between the lungs, 4) the spine,
or 5) the pleura around the other lung,
The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the other
lung or near the collarbone, and/or
The cancer has spread to distant sites.
Definitions
Chest wall:
The layer of
muscles and bones under
the skin covering the chest
Diaphragm:
A sheet of
muscles below the ribs that
helps a person to breathe
Lymph nodes:
Small
groups of special disease-
fighting cells located
throughout the body
Pericardium:
The tissue
lining around the heart
Peritoneum:
The tissue
lining around the organs in
the belly area
Pleura:
The tissue lining
around the lungs
Spine:
Bones, muscles,
and other tissues along the
back from the base of the
skull to the tailbone
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