Stage IV is the final, most advanced stage of mesothelioma. Patients with Stage IV mesothelioma have the least effective treatment options. Symptoms are more intense compared to previous stages, and tumor growth is extensive. Typically, if mesothelioma tumors that originated in the pleura (the lining of the lungs) have spread to the chest wall, lining of the heart, diaphragm, or other areas, a Stage IV diagnosis will be made.
Surgery is usually avoided during Stage IV because of the risks involved, and because the extent of the cancer makes the benefits of surgery negligible.
Symptoms associated with Stage IV mesothelioma include:
- Severe chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
Abdominal pain can also be a significant symptom if the cancer has reached the lower abdomen.
The goal of Stage IV treatment is palliative (aiming to relieve symptoms). For example, if you have pleural mesothelioma, you may undergo a treatment called thoracentesis or paracentesis to drain excess fluid from the pleural cavity, reducing the pressure on your lungs. Surgical treatment is rare, but can sometimes be performed to remove bulk tumors and lessen your symptoms.
Radiation therapy has fewer side effects than both surgery and chemotherapy, which makes it the preferred form of treatment for many Stage IV patients. The average life expectancy of a patient with Stage IV mesothelioma is six and a half months after diagnosis.
If you or one of your loved ones has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need the very best medical treatment possible – and you deserve to be compensated by those responsible for exposing you to asbestos in the past.
Please contact TheLaw Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP today or call (410) 625-9330 to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Baltimore mesothelioma lawyer. We can help you fight for the justice and fair compensation you deserve.