Prognosis in Mesothelioma
Prognosis refers to how long a patient is expected to live with their diagnosis. In the case of mesothelioma, the answer that’s given is rarely optimistic. Though there are certainly remarkable success stories of mesothelioma patients that have been able to beat the odds and live for several years, for most patients the reality will be far different, and much shorter.
The Challenge of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an extremely challenging disease to treat. It is a rare condition, and the small amount of patients means that researchers have not had extensive opportunities to find a cure.
Beyond that, it is not generally identified and diagnosed until it has progressed to a critical point. Most patients do not survive more than a year or two following their diagnosis. Since mesothelioma is a result of negligence on part of companies that used asbestos, contact a mesothelioma lawyer who may be able to help you receive compensation.
Variables in Mesothelioma Prognosis
There are many things that determine how long a mesothelioma patient is likely to survive following diagnosis. The five main determinants are the location of the disease, the type of cell the tumors are made up of, the stage at which the patient is diagnosed, whether it has spread within the body, and the patient’s overall health at the time that they are diagnosed.
- The location of the disease, whether it is pleural, originating from the lungs; peritoneal, originating in the abdomen, or found in the pericardial cavity, determines a great deal about prognosis. Pleural is most commonly found and generally has the longest survival rate.
- The different cell types are epithelial, sarcomatoid and biphasic (which is a combination of the two). Sarcomatoid is not as responsive to treatment as the other two types, thus providing a less optimistic prognosis.
- The stages of mesothelioma are 1, 2, 3 and 4, with 4 being the furthest advanced and shortest prognosis. Unfortunately, mesothelioma patients are rarely diagnosed at Stage 1, making treatment that much more challenging.
- If any cancer is said to have metastasized it means that it has spread to other parts of the body. In mesothelioma, when the disease has metastasized it makes the survival rate much shorter.
- Finally, the overall health of the patient at the time that they are diagnosed may be the most important factor in a patient’s prognosis. The younger, stronger and healthier the patient is, the better they will be able to withstand the rigorous treatment and aggressive surgical procedures that will give them the best chance of a better prognosis.