The Life Expectancy for a Mesothelioma Patient Depends on the Stage
With the improvements in treatments, medication and care, many mesothelioma patients are having their survival rates measured in years and not months. Currently, about 40 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma survive for one year, and 20 percent live more than two years. Each year, mesothelioma specialists are learning more and developing new mesothelioma treatments.
The stage of your mesothelioma will determine your survival rate. Those diagnosed in Stage I have a longer life expectancy than those diagnosed in Stage IV.
How Can a Mesothelioma Patient Improve Their Life Expectancy?
The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient is four months to one year, but many people are surviving as long as a decade. It really depends on a number of factors.
Get a Mesothelioma Specialist and a Mesothelioma Treatment Center
Since mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer it is important that you get the best mesothelioma specialist and treatment center because they will have the experience, medication, equipment and understanding of how to handle your mesothelioma.
The Sooner You Get Diagnosed the Better
If you believe that your occupation, military service or environment has exposed you to asbestos, then you need to let your doctor know. Understand the symptoms of mesothelioma so you can tell your physician that you believe you were exposed to asbestos and are experiencing these symptoms.
Be Part of Any Clinical Trial
It has been shown that those participating in mesothelioma clinical trials have improved their prognosis and extended their life spans. Many mesothelioma patients take a “what do I have to lose” mentality and are willing to try anything to improve their prognosis. Clinical trials allow you to do this.
Being Healthy Helps You Battle Cancer
Your overall health opens up more cancer treatments and options. When your immune system is strong you can deal with mesothelioma treatments better. It is important to maintain good health regardless of whether you are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
What are the Factors that can Affect Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?
The younger you are the better chances for longer survival rates. This is because younger patients can get approved for surgical procedures that are not offered for older patients. The issue is that mesothelioma is rarely diagnosed in young patients. A majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma are older than 60, and nearly all the people who die because of mesothelioma are over the age of 65.
Studies have shown that women have better survival rates than men. However, the majority of mesothelioma cases involve men because of their occupations. Men experienced more asbestos exposure due to military service and construction and industrial careers. Women who are diagnosed with mesothelioma live longer than men with the same diagnosis and it is believed that women’s hormonal differences may be a factor.
The vast majority of mesothelioma patients are Caucasian, with the disease rarely being diagnosed in Hispanics and African Americans. Caucasians are more apt to undergo surgical procedures and treatments.
The types of mesothelioma are pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. The introduction of new treatments such as HIPEC has increased the survival rates for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. If you are unable to have the HIPEC treatment, then your survival rate is generally six months. With the new treatment, survival rates can be as high as 40 to 92 months. Pericardial and testicular mesothelioma are rarely diagnosed but have survival ranges of 6 to 24 months.
Geographical Location and Population
States that had a more robust industrial and manufacturing economy tend to have more people being diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, older populations are largely affected since mesothelioma is generally seen in more mature people. Maine, Alaska, Washington, Wyoming and New Jersey have the highest death rates from mesothelioma.
The Stage of Your Mesothelioma Cancer
Cancer comes in four different stages, Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and usually it is not discovered until Stage III or Stage IV. Just like any other cancer, the sooner you diagnose mesothelioma, the sooner you can treat it. If it has spread throughout the body, as in later stages, your survival rate drops dramatically.
Histology or Cellular Types
There are three different types of mesothelioma cells: epithelial, sarcomatoid and biphasic. Epithelial mesothelioma is the least destructive type of mesothelioma because it is the most treatable and least-aggressive type of mesothelioma cell. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least desired mesothelioma because it is very aggressive and survival rates are very low. Biphasic mesothelioma is similar to epithelial and sarcomatoid mesothelioma in that it can be aggressive, but respond to certain treatments.
How Can a Mesothelioma Patient Work Toward Remission?
When a mesothelioma patient is in remission there are no signs of mesothelioma cancer in their body. Anyone who is diagnosed with mesothelioma wants their cancer to go into remission.
Finding a mesothelioma specialist who is able to provide the best treatment option possible will lead to a patient having the best chance of remission. If your mesothelioma is at an advanced stage, then clinical trials can be used to help you go into remission.
Although mesothelioma is an aggressive and difficult-to-diagnose cancer, there have been thousands of individuals that have gone into remission and currently are living with a mesothelioma diagnosis. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, remission and survival are obtainable. Speak to a Patient Advocate today and see what you can do.