The life expectancy of a person with mesothelioma depends on what stage the disease has progressed to when they receive the diagnosis, but across all stages, Lung Cancer International research showed a life expectancy range of one to 15 years.
Another study documented in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that the life expectancy of a person with mesothelioma in the United Kingdom averaged from 8-14 months. Again, the range depended on several factors, including the type of mesothelioma and when medical professionals discovered and diagnosed the patient with mesothelioma.
It is also important to remember that statistics are only generalized information and do not necessarily reflect the outcome of an individual patient.
Prognosis of Patients Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
The Mayo Clinic describes mesothelioma as a type of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and other internal organs. Typically, mesothelioma occurs in the thin membrane lining covering vital organs such as the lungs (pleura mesothelioma), heart, and abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).
While this cancer can remain dormant for decades, once it starts growing, it rapidly invades the organs and tissues and is typically considered fatal. This means that most patients who develop mesothelioma will likely not live past the five-year mark that most doctors use for statistical purposes.
However, it is always important to understand that every person is different and that every instance of mesothelioma has different treatments and outcomes. The American Cancer Society found that the combined five-year relative survival rate for all stages is 10%.
Early Diagnosis Is Key
Some screening tests can discover mesothelioma, including CT scans and chest X-rays, but they are typically not done due to the rarity of the disease. However, there are also now blood tests that can detect proteins such as fibulin-3 and soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP), which can indicate the presence of mesothelioma.
The National Cancer Institute links the exposure of asbestos to the development of mesothelioma. Therefore, if you believe that you suffered asbestos exposure during your lifetime, any symptoms of chest or abdominal pain should receive an immediate medical evaluation. The prognosis of mesothelioma patients often depends on how quickly they receive a diagnosis.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 307-3113
The life expectancy of a person diagnosed with mesothelioma varies according to several significant factors:
- Their age at diagnosis (younger people tend to fare better).
- Whether the person was a smoker.
- Whether the person was in overall good health.
- Whether the person ate a healthy diet.
- The type of mesothelioma they developed.
Patients who develop pleural mesothelioma unfortunately have a shorter life expectancy than those patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma patients. For example, the Lung Cancer International study showed that while a 50-year-old male with localized pleural mesothelioma had a life expectancy of five years from diagnosis, that same person had a life expectancy of nine years with a peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis.
Treatments for Mesothelioma
Doctors use four different types of treatments for patients who develop mesothelioma:
- Surgery: Surgery removes large tumors in the lungs, chest area or abdomen. Surgery can remove these areas prior to other treatments to reduce the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays (or other radiation) to either prevent cancer cells from continuing to grow or kill them completely. In some cases, the doctor can inject the radioactive substance directly into the body at or near the cancer site.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses different combinations of drugs injected into the body to reduce or destroy mesothelioma cells. How well this treatment works will depend on the type and stage of mesothelioma the patient has.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapies can include monoclonal antibody therapy (antibodies infused into the body), bevacizumab (antibodies that prevent the growth of blood vessels that the cancer needs to spread), and kinase inhibitors (drugs that stop specific signals that cancer cells need in order to grow.)
The National Cancer Institute also discusses experimental therapies that are currently being studied. These new treatments, now in clinical trials, include immunotherapy, biotherapy, and alternative treatments that may one day help improve the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient.
Consider How an Asbestos Attorney Can Help
If you or your loved one received a diagnosis of mesothelioma related to your exposure to asbestos, you may feel overwhelmed with the diagnosis and the prognosis of your disease. However, you also may have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.
You might want to consider contacting the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how an asbestos attorney can help you pursue the compensation you might be entitled to receive. Call (800) 307-3113 today to get started.