Mesothelioma Metastasis

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Mesothelioma Metastasis

The term "metastatic cancer" refers to any form of cancer that has spread from its original location to other parts of the body. Cancer can spread through the lymph nodes or through the blood stream. Doctors have even found that some cancers are predictable as far as the organs to which they will metastasize. In some instances, this predictability can guide doctors and help keep an eye on certain parts of the body that are susceptible to tumors.

Mesothelioma Progression

Because mesothelioma is not generally diagnosed until its later stages (usually Stage III or IV), metastatic disease is common at the time of diagnosis. Mesothelioma metastasis, however, can also occur as the disease continues to progress. Unlike many other cancers, mesothelioma progression does not generally impact the bones or brain, but normally affects the organs around the lungs on the side of the body in which the original tumor was found. This is known in the medical field as a "local spread."

It is also theorized that mesothelioma may actually travel more quickly than other types of cancer. This is because the disease is most often located in or near the lungs, which transfer oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, mesothelioma cells may be able to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the body.
Mesothelioma progression can sometimes be detected through diagnostic imaging tests, which include MRIs or CT scans. Doctors usually suspect that a cancer has spread when a patient complains of symptoms that are not generally associated with mesothelioma. At that time, tests or biopsies will be performed.

Treating Mesothelioma Metastases

Once mesothelioma has metastasized, treatment of the disease will probably change from its original course. The oncologist will need to address the cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and may recommend different therapies. In some cases, both chemotherapy for mesothelioma and radiation may be suggested. However, once the cancer has spread, doctors can usually only offer palliative treatments to ease the pain and improve the quality of life for the patient.
An oncologist with experience in treating this aggressive asbestos-related disease will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for both the original disease and the metastases. 

Mesothelioma Brain Metastases

Though not as common as localized metastases, mesothelioma brain metastases have been reported in medical literature. Malignant mesothelioma does not typically spread to the brain, bones or adrenal glands, so patients should not be highly concerned about a brain metastases. In the cases that have been reported, the mesothelioma diagnosis was typically given in a late stage of development. Once the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, treatment options tend to be palliative in nature (which aims to relieve symptoms and provide comfort rather than cure the disease).



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