In Stage 3 mesothelioma, the cancer has spread to nearby tissues, organs, and possibly to distant lymph nodes. Stage 3 is the most frequently diagnosed stage of mesothelioma, with a median life expectancy of about 16 months.
Defining Stage 3 Mesothelioma
In the four-tiered staging system that is used to classify the progression and severity of cancer, Stage 3 mesothelioma is considered an advanced stage of the disease, though it is not the most advanced.
The primary characteristic that differentiates Stage 3 mesothelioma from other stages is that, in Stage 3, the cancer has spread to nearby areas. It may have spread to neighboring organs, tissues, and possibly nearby lymph nodes. However, in Stage 3, the mesothelioma has not yet spread to more distant regions of the body.
Various staging systems offer a somewhat different description of Stage 3 mesothelioma:
The disease has spread from the initial location in the pleural lining of the lungs, abdomen, and other areas. Lymph node groups may be involved as well.
Stage 3 Mesothelioma Symptoms
The symptoms of Stage 3 mesothelioma are usually pretty intense, due to the spreading of the disease beyond the area of origin. As metastasis continues, symptoms may increase significantly.
Typical Stage 3 mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Fatigue or general feelings of tiredness
- Labored breathing or shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Weight loss
Prognosis of Stage 3 Mesothelioma
By the time mesothelioma has reached Stage 3, the prognosis is grim. Even if the primary tumor can be removed, cancer cells have most likely spread to other areas, and remission is unlikely.
The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient diagnosed at Stage 3 is about 16 months. However, the life expectancy of a particular patient depends on individual diagnosis, including the tumor cell type and location, as well as the patient’s gender, age, overall health, and other risk factors.