Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation staging Treatment questions for doctor specialist Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Cancer Pleura Evaluation

The evaluation of mesothelioma begins with a history and physical exam. Physical exam is usually normal.

Physical findings in someone with mesothelioma may include:

  • Clubbing of the nails
  • Barrel-shaped chest
  • Decreased lung sounds
    • During examination with a stethoscope
  • Malnutrition
  • Wheezing

Testing is necessary to make the diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Tests that may be used to evaluate mesothelioma include:

Cancer Pleura Staging

Testing can help the doctor determine the cancer stage. Staging is important in the evaluation of mesothelioma because it is the most important factor in determining the best approach to treatment.

Mesothelioma is divided into two groups:

  • Localized mesothelioma:
    • Stage 1 mesothelioma: the cancer is confined to the lining of the chest wall, heart, diaphragm, or lung.
  • Advanced mesothelioma:
    • Stage 2 mesothelioma: the cancer is in the lining of the chest wall, heart, diaphragm, or lung and it has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest
    • Stage 3 mesothelioma: the original cancer is located in the lining of the chest wall, heart, diaphragm, or lung AND it has also spread to another nearby area, such as the chest wall, heart, lung, beyond the diaphragm, or the peritoneum.
    • Stage 4 mesothelioma: the cancer has spread to distant organs or tissues

Recurrent malignant mesothelioma is cancer that returns after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the chest, abdomen, another part of the body.

Continue to Cancer Pleura Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer Pleura References
  1. Laden F, Stampfer MJ, Walker AM. Lung cancer and mesothelioma among male automobile mechanics: a review. Rev Environ Health. 2004 Jan-Mar;19(1):39-61. [15186039]
  2. Maziak DE, Gagliardi A, Haynes AE, Mackay JA, Evans WK; Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care Lung Cancer Disease Site Group. Surgical management of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a systematic review and evidence summary. Lung Cancer. 2005 May;48(2):157-69. [15829316]
  3. van Ruth S, Baas P, Zoetmulder FA. Surgical treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a review. Chest. 2003 Feb;123(2):551-61. [12576380]
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