Stage 1 Mesothelioma

Stage 1 is the most manageable form of mesothelioma. The area affected by tumors is localized, close to the origin and in only one layer of the pleura, and your lymph nodes are not affected.

There are three formal staging systems widely accepted by doctors: Brigham, TNM and Butchart. The description of stage 1 mesothelioma is different for each. These differences are relatively minor but you may want to note them to see how the cancer progresses and advances.

Stage 1, defined by Brigham

Tumors are only located in the pleura, lung, pericardium or diaphram. The chest wall may also be affected. The lymph nodes aren’t affected.

Stage 1, defined by TNM (aka IMIG)

There are two sub-stages under this system. Stage 1A affects the outer pleura and Sstage 1B affects the inner layer, closest to the lungs.

Stage 1, defined by Butchart

Tumors are located in the pleura and possibly the lung, pericardium or diaphram on the same side. However, they don’t affect the lymph nodes.


If you do have any symptoms, they may be limited to coughing, chest pain or fever that could be confused with something else. You’re probably not experiencing any unusual conditions that would be of concern, so you wouldn’t be seeking medical attention at this point. Stage 1 mesothelioma is often discovered accidentally, when the sufferer seeks medical attention for something else, which may have involved a biopsy of affected tissue or fluid.

Treatment options

Surgery is an option and can be effective in the removal of tumors. For this reason, it’s usually the first treatment offered. However, alternatives to surgery may also be considered, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Alternative, “natural” or holistic options may also be considered. Some may seek clinical trials.

Your chances of survival

Your chances of survival are the highest during this stage and you’ll probably live longer than those who have been diagnosed at a later stage. While the average survival time is about 21 months or so, there are some cases where patients have lived for three years or longer.

Unfortunately, being diagnosed at this stage by physical exam or imaging scan is not common since you may not have any discernible symptoms of the disease. (which involves removing a portion or all of the testicles), radiation therapy and are commonly prescribed. The latter two are advised when the cancer has spread and may be for palliative purposes only. Surgery, however, may not be possible if the patient is at a later stage.

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