One of the most difficult aspects of being diagnosed with mesothelioma is facing the fact that the prognosis for patients diagnosed with this rare form of cancer is not good. Though great strides have been made over the last few years, enabling patients to have longer survival times, it is still considered to be a fatal and terminal disease.
Though the overall prognosis for mesothelioma patients is extremely challenging, that does not mean that patients should abandon all hope. New treatment approaches are being created every day, and mesothelioma doctors are optimistic that patient survival rates will continue to improve.
Striving for Early Detection
Much of the scientific community’s research effort has been devoted to innovations in early mesothelioma detection. This is because mesothelioma patients have likely been walking around with the disease lying latent in their bodies for many years. The disease begins to develop almost immediately upon exposure to asbestos, thought symptoms may not appear for decades.
The earlier a patient is diagnosed, the more effective their treatment will be and the more options are available to them. In addition to the search for better testing, mesothelioma advocates work hard to educate the public about mesothelioma so that those who are at risk can be on the lookout for symptoms and get diagnosed at the first sign. These signs include:
- Pain in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal Pain
- Lumps on the abdomen
Many of these symptoms accompany other, more benign conditions, and as a result the patient often mistakenly believes that they have a cold, a virus, the flu, or pneumonia. Doctors often make the same mistake. This is why it is so important for people who have been exposed to asbestos to be aware that they are at risk.
Survival Rates for Mesothelioma Patients
Statistically speaking, the life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is very short from the time of diagnosis, with median patient survival rates ranging between eight months and fourteen months. Despite these extremely disappointing numbers, there are many factors that can have a positive impact on survival time.
The most important variables that can help extend a mesothelioma patient’s time following diagnosis are their age, the state of their overall health, the type of mesothelioma that they’ve been diagnosed with and how far the disease has spread. Some patients have been able to live for years following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Helping you Get the Money you Need for Medical Treatments
In order to give yourself the longest possible survival time, you may require expensive medical treatments. The law firm of Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett understands the demands of mesothelioma, and we will work hard to make the responsible party pay for your expenses. Contact us today to see how we can help.
Mesothelioma Variables and their Impact on Prognosis
There are a number of variables to a mesothelioma prognosis, including the cell type of the disease and its location in the patient’s body. Though when you are first learning about mesothelioma something as small as cell type may not seem to make a difference, but it can have a big impact on the course of treatment and its expected outcome. The same is true for whether the disease is pleural or peritoneal.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease. It forms in the lining of the lungs and impacts the chest and diaphragm. Peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the pleural lining of the abdomen, and it impacts the organs that are located there. Each requires a different type of surgical approach, and has different outcomes.
Similarly, there are different types of mesothelioma cells. The epithelial mesothelioma cell has been shown to have a better response to the available chemotherapeutic agents then the other types of mesothelioma cells, which are sarcomatoid and mixed. This means that those whose cells are identified as epithelioid have a generally better prognosis with longer survival.
Prognosis Factors and Treatment
When determining the right course of treatment for an individual patient, mesothelioma physicians and surgeons examine each of these factors to determine which patients will have the best outcomes and are the best candidates for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Much of their decision is also based on how far the mesothelioma tumors and cells have spread within the body.
The earlier the stage of the disease and the better each of the variable factors is for a patient often leads to the most aggressive forms of treatment, or admission into a clinical trial. Mesothelioma patients who are younger and who are in good health have been known to live for several years following their diagnosis.
A Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help you Get the Treatment You Need
The mesothelioma attorneys of Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett are available for much more than legal help. We can help you find the best medical facilities for treatment, as well as explaining how you can get the financial resources to help pay for it. Contact us today.