Mesothelioma Prognosis

Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Once a patient is diagnosed, a doctor will likely discuss their prognosis, or probable course of the cancer's influence on the body and recommend various treatment options. .The prognosis of a patient diagnosed with mesothelioma and the recommended treatments can vary greatly depending on the patient's age, sex, asbestos exposure history and the specific cells involved.
The best way to avoid a poor prognosis is through early detection of the cancer. When mesothelioma is detected early, the prognosis is generally more favorable, as the cancer may not have spread to other parts of the body and may be more receptive to various treatments and surgery. Following detection, the best way to improve a patient's prognosis is educating oneself about the latest mesothelioma treatments.
Those who have been exposed to asbestos may wish to alert their doctor, as this may aid in the early detection of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

Typical Mesothelioma Prognosis

The earlier a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the better prognosis they can expect. The prognosis and treatments recommended are based on a patient’s age, sex, asbestos exposure and the specific cells that are involved. When the cancer is detected early, the prognosis is typically more favorable because it may not have spread, so the body will be more receptive to varying treatments and surgeries. Also, those under age 45 often have a better prognosis – about 20 percent of patients included in an American Cancer Society study from that age group survived for more than five years.
For those diagnosed with pleural, peritoneal or pericardial mesothelioma, the prognosis can take varying turns. Up to 60 percent of all cases are pleural mesothelioma, which has a typical survival rate of five years following diagnosis. That tends to be the most optimistic diagnosis for this cancer. On average, someone suffering from mesothelioma has about a one-year survival rate.
People experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains may have a poorer prognosis because those symptoms can indicate that the cancer has progressed to a later stage.
Overall Health: Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma who are otherwise healthy may have an easier time undergoing intensive treatment, such as chemotherapy, than someone with pre-existing health issues. Additionally,non-smokers often have a better prognosis than patients who smoke.
Stage of Mesothelioma: Doctors typically discuss the severity of a patient's cancer in terms of stages, ranging from stage I to stage IV. Patients with stage III or stage IV mesothelioma will typically have a poorer prognosis than patients with stage I or stage II mesothelioma.
For example, in a study published in the European Respiratory Journal involving 167 patients with pleural mesothelioma, participants with stage I pleural mesothelioma survived for 359 days, while those with stage III or stage IV (combined) mesothelioma survived approximately 112 days. In general, treatment options are typically more limited and surgery may not be an option once the cancer has progressed beyond stage II.
Stage I Mesothelioma Patients Averaged a 359-day Life Span Following Diagnosis
Overall Health: Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma who are otherwise healthy may have an easier time undergoing intensive treatment, such as chemotherapy, than someone with pre-existing health issues. Additionally,non-smokers often have a better prognosis than patients who smoke.
Stage of Mesothelioma: Doctors typically discuss the severity of a patient's cancer in terms of stages, ranging from stage I to stage IV. Patients with stage III or stage IV mesothelioma will typically have a poorer prognosis than patients with stage I or stage II mesothelioma.
For example, in a study published in the European Respiratory Journal involving 167 patients with pleural mesothelioma, participants with stage I pleural mesothelioma survived for 359 days, while those with stage III or stage IV (combined) mesothelioma survived approximately 112 days. In general, treatment options are typically more limited and surgery may not be an option once the cancer has progressed beyond stage II.
Stage I Mesothelioma Patients Averaged a 359-day Life Span Following Diagnosis
Stage III and IV Patients Averaged a 112-day Combined Life Span Following Diagnosis
Cell Type:Mesothelioma histology impacts a patient's prognosis, as those with epithelial mesothelioma have a greater life expectancy than those with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.
Size and Location of the Tumor: The size and location of a patient's tumor can impact their prognosis. Patients with tumors that have progressed or spread to other parts of the body generally have a poorer prognosis. Patients with tumors that may be surgically removed often have a better prognosis.
Progression of Symptoms: Patients who are experiencing serious symptoms of mesothelioma, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, may have a weakened prognosis, because the prevalence of mesothelioma symptoms often indicates the cancer has progressed to a later stage of development.
Stage III and IV Patients Averaged a 112-day Combined Life Span Following Diagnosis
Cell Type:Mesothelioma histology impacts a patient's prognosis, as those with epithelial mesothelioma have a greater life expectancy than those with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.
Size and Location of the Tumor: The size and location of a patient's tumor can impact their prognosis. Patients with tumors that have progressed or spread to other parts of the body generally have a poorer prognosis. Patients with tumors that may be surgically removed often have a better prognosis.
Progression of Symptoms: Patients who are experiencing serious symptoms of mesothelioma, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, may have a weakened prognosis, because the prevalence of mesothelioma symptoms often indicates the cancer has progressed to a later stage of development.


Factors that Affect Your Prognosis

Mesothelioma histology affects a prognosis, so it can be important in a treatment regimen. Mesothelioma histology is the study of various types of cells connected to the disease. By studying those cells, a doctor can better determine a course of treatment.
Also, the size and location of tumors can affect a prognosis. Patients whose tumors are surgically removed typically have a better prognosis than those whose tumors have spread to other parts of the body.
Those who have been exposed to asbestos should alert their doctor, which can help in early detection of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

Improving a Mesothelioma Prognosis


While most doctors begin treatment of mesothelioma with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, there are also less traditional alternative treatments being used and being widely touted by mesothelioma survivors. Some doctors practice what is called Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or CAM, combined with conventional medicine. This integrative medicine has no promise for a cure, but in some cases has subdued the pain and suffering associated with mesothelioma. In certain cases, it has been shown to improve survival rates. Various plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, herbal teas and amino acids like those used for centuries by ancient cultures are sometimes used as a supplemental treatment for mesothelioma.
Experimental therapies, like immunotherapy, show progress for the future. Also, researchers and scientists are constantly seeking out and testing new types of drugs and innovating new therapies as they search for a cure.

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