In the search of a cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma, researchers try to assess both the effect of specific treatment protocols and whether there are certain characteristics that give certain patients an intrinsic advantage and longer survival times. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York directed its inquiry in the latter direction, assessing the medical records of over 16,000 mesothelioma patients over the last several years to see whether the ones who lived the longest after diagnosis had any one thing in common. They found that the single characteristics most identified with longer survival was being female. Now they are wondering whether estrogen provides women with added protection against the disease’s effects.
It has long been suggested that women with mesothelioma live longer (on average) than men, but much of that knowledge has been anecdotal. This study, which was recently published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis, analyzed the National Cancer Institute’s database of mesothelioma patients, assessing the impact of a variety of characteristics including age, type of cancer, health at time of diagnosis, income, and gender. What they found was that being female was the single characteristic that had the biggest impact on longevity. Now they want to know why, and they theorize that it may be the presence of estrogen in women’s bodies.
Estrogen is the hormone that drives the development of women’s reproductive organs, as well as other secondary sexual characteristics. Though estrogen levels fall during menopause, it still remains in higher levels in women’s bodies than in men’s during the years and age when mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed, so now researchers want to see whether the hormone is responsible for the significant difference in survival. They will begin testing the impact of estrogen by providing it as a supplement to men.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you need information on your medical options as well as your legal options. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 for information.