Stage 2 Mesothelioma

Stage 2 mesothelioma is when the cancerous tumors are just beginning to spread from the origin (mestastasis) to a single lung or diaphragm, possibly affecting regional lymph nodes.

Staging is a way to determine how the cancer has progressed in your body. According to the three formal staging systems, there are slight variations that define stage 2. The following are the descriptions outlined by each staging system: Brigham, TNM and Butchart. Your doctor may choose to diagnose your condition according to one of these systems.

Stage 2, defined by Brigham

Tumors are only located in the lining of the lungs and the lymph nodes (intraparenchymal or mediastinal) are affected.

Stage 2, defined by TNM (aka IMIG)

The cancer affects the pleura, as well as one or more of the following: diaphragmatic muscle or pulmonary parenchyma.

Stage 2, defined by Butchart

Tumors have spread to your chest, heart, and/or esophagus. Both sides of your pleura may be affected as well as your lymph nodes.


You might notice that you aren’t feeling “100%”, and may experience symptoms such as chest pain, coughing, fever, breathing difficulties and unexplained weight loss. You may also feel unusual lumps in your chest and abdomen. Your symptoms are caused by the growth of tumors and the accumulation of fluid between the pleural layers (pleural effusion). In many cases, these symptoms are misdiagnosed as being another disease. For this reason, it is rare that patients are detected to have mesothelioma at this stage.

Treatment options

Surgery is a common treatment, and its purpose is to remove cancerous tissue. Other options that you may also consider include radiotherapy and chemotherapy. At this stage, there tends to be an optimistic outcome. However, the purpose may also be to decrease your discomfort.

Surgery involves the removal of affected tissue. There are three common types of surgery:

  1. Extrapleural pneumonectomy: the lung, pleura, a part of the diaphragm, the pericardium and regional lymph nodes are removed.
  2. Pleurectomy/decortication: the pleura is removed on the affected side.
  3. Cytoreduction: the peritoneum (abdominal lining) is removed.

Your chances of survival

Your chances of survival are the not as high as in stage 1, but higher than stage 3 and 4. Treatment tends to be effective.

Research conducted by surgeon, Dr. D.J. Sugarbaker, found that patients with stage 2 mesothelioma who were treated by an extrapleural pneumonectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy had an average life expectancy of 17 months1.

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