The mesothelioma prognosis varies among patients. There are many factors contributing to determining how long a mesothelioma patient will live, but there is currently not a mesothelioma cure. Since doctors are finding new ways to treat mesothelioma, the mesothelioma life expectancy will be better today than it was even just a few years ago. The average mesothelioma life expectancy is 4 to 18 months, but there have been cases where mesothelioma patients lived longer than 5 years.
Factors Involved in Determining Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
There are several factors to determine a mesothelioma prognosis for patients:
- Stage of Cancer
- Tumor size
- Whether or not surgery is an option
- Patient's age
- Patient's health
- Tumor's subtype
- Location of tumor
- Patient's ability to perform everyday tasks
- Amount of fluid in the chest or abdomen
- Whether or not it is newly diagnosed mesothelioma or a recurrence
Factors Affecting Early Detection of Mesothelioma
If mesothelioma is discovered in the earlier stages of cancer, there is a greater chance that the patient will have a longer life expectancy. Many times,
however, mesothelioma is not discovered early because patients mistake symptoms for something less serious such as pneumonia or the flu. When symptoms are misdiagnosed, this pushes back when a patient is first diagnosed with mesothelioma and lessens their chances of a longer life expectancy because the person is not being treated for the correct condition.
Early Detection Can Improve Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma cannot currently be cured, but with the right combination of treatment and support, mesothelioma life expectancy can improve. Some studies
have shown that it may be possible for about half of patients treated in an early stage to have a life expectancy of two years, while one-fifth will have
a life expectancy of five years. When mesothelioma is an advanced stage, only five percent have a life expectancy of five years.
See Your Doctor If You Suspect You May Have Mesothelioma
If you worked in a job at any time in your life where you know that you were exposed to asbestos, it is important to see a doctor. You may be feeling symptoms of mesothelioma and are attributing them to pneumonia or a chest cold. Also keep in mind that it takes approximately 18-30 years for mesothelioma symptoms to manifest. Getting diagnosed early is your best ammunition in fighting mesothelioma and may increase your life expectancy.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma to Look For
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
As the cancer progresses, other symptoms that may be present are:
- Increased shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Night sweats
- Voice changes caused by local invasion of the tumor
- Loss of diaphragm function
Every day, strides are being made to advance research on a cure. It is important for patients to take joy in every day that they have left with families and
friends. Staying positive about the treatments you will be undergoing will benefit your survival rate. There are also alternative treatments that help improve
your quality of life such as acupuncture, yoga or meditation.
Trimodality Therapy May Increase Survival Rate
Trimodality therapy is a combination of surgery to remove the cancer, radiation and chemotherapy and is often beneficial to patients who want to extend their life. If trimodality therapy is undergone during stage I, the average prognosis for patients is 22 months. There are even rare cases of patients living up to
12 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Percentages of Mesothelioma Survival Rates After Diagnosis:
- 39% survive 1 year
- 20% survive 2 years
- 11% survive 3 years
- 10% survive 4 years
- 9% survive 5 years
Patients Defying the Odds: Long-Term Survival a Possibility for Some
There have been cases of patients that defied the odds and survived mesothelioma for longer than 10 years. For example, Paul Kraus is an Australian man who lived with mesothelioma for years surpassing his prognosis. He opted to design a treatment program for himself that focused on nutrition and the immune system. Most often, patients that lived longer than the average were involved in treatments that enhanced the immune system. This could mean that the immune system plays a large role in longer survival of mesothelioma.
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