Stage 3 Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed as stage 3. This is where cancerous tumors have spread to adjacent tissues, most frequently these are organs, lymph nodes, and other tissues that are near the cancer’s initial site. Because the tumor has progressed so far, the prognosis and general outlook for patients diagnosed with stage 3 mesothelioma are not good.

Only about one-quarter to one-third of patients with stage 3 mesothelioma live more than 2 years after diagnosis.

What Does Stage 3 Mesothelioma Mean?

Stage 3 is one of the most advanced stages of mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused specifically by exposure to asbestos. At this stage, tumors have developed and have spread to the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura and often to lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the primary tumor, or other nearby tissues.

In stage 3 mesothelioma, not only the lungs, but the heart sac, the diaphragm, and other portions of the chest cavity may be affected.

If You Have Been Diagnosed With Stage 3 Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 mesothelioma, one of the most important things you can do initially is locate a specialist or team of specialists in your area.

Mesothelioma specialists will be well-equipped to take on cases of the rare cancer and will be the most educated on clinical trials or new treatments.

Since time is of the essence when dealing with a stage 3 mesothelioma diagnosis, finding your care team is crucial. Speak with doctors that have successfully treated mesothelioma patients, whether via surgery, chemo and radiation, or other means, and discuss possible treatments for your particular case. Not only will specialists understand the nuances of mesothelioma treatment, but they will be more understanding of the unique challenges that patients face.

Common Symptoms Of Stage 3 Mesothelioma

These are also similar symptoms to stage 2 mesothelioma, though they become much more noticeable and intense compared to stage 2. The most common stage 3 symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Fluid buildup in the chest or lungs
  • Weight loss that is unexpected, significant, or sudden

Treatments For Stage 3 Mesothelioma

Even though stage 3 tumors are considered advanced, they are advanced in a local sense. If the right conditions exist, mesothelioma is treatable with surgery in some scenarios. Often the treatment plan will include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to raise the chances of survival considerably.


Surgical options include removing the entire lung, known as a pneumonectomy, and the less drastic pleurectomy. If a pneumonectomy is performed, not only is the entire lung removed, but also any affected pleural or pericardial tissues. If a pleurectomy and decortication are pursued, only the lining of the affected lung will be removed, leaving the lung.


The best survival rates are seen when chemotherapy is used. Most patients begin a round of intravenous chemotherapy immediately following their recovery from surgery.