Facing a suddenly shortened mesothelioma life expectancy is difficult for both the victim and his or her loved ones. Plans for the future are suddenly and drastically cut short, and coping with such a stark reality can be an initially overwhelming charge.
The tragic fact about mesothelioma is that it is always considered a terminal diagnosis. And depending upon how far advanced the disease is at the time it is caught, treatment options may be very limited-in some cases, even reduced to only palliative means. And even for patients who are eligible for potentially “curative” treatment measures, the reality remains that there simply is no real “cure” for cancer. The best that can be hoped for is remission, but even that possibility comes with no guarantees.
What is the Average Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?
For a patient with mesothelioma, the expected timeframe of survival can vary-depending upon multiple factors, including the location and cell type of the cancer, as well as the stage in which it was initially diagnosed and the patient’s response to treatment. From the point of diagnosis, the average life expectancy is around 12 months. But taking account the many variances that occur in both the illness itself and the general health of the patient, four to 18 months may be a more accurate and reasonable projection.
Longevity is sadly not on the side of mesothelioma victims. Statistics for both the peritoneal and pleural types show that only about 10 percent of victims survive for five years or more post-diagnosis.
Dealing with the Greif that Comes with a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Both the victim and loved ones alike can expect to experience the grief process in the aftermath of a terminal diagnosis. While experiencing the myriad of emotions that accompany this process, those affected are encouraged to allow their feelings to come and go as naturally as possible. Trying to fight off difficult emotions, like fear and sadness, tends to be counterproductive to the coping that occurs as the different stages of grief are encountered.
The tragedy of a mesothelioma life expectancy is that it forces people to realize that there are many things they had planned to but will not get to experience. This affects both the victim and his or her family and friends-anyone who is emotionally invested in the victim’s life.
One thing that has been shown to help all of those affected by mesothelioma cancer and other terminal diagnoses is a focused dedication to living in the present. This is especially valuable, considering that only a limited amount of time is left for the victim to enjoy life and the company of those he loves. By making the most of this time, it is less likely that those who will be left behind will be bombarded with regrets during the bereavement process.
Consciously focusing on the present and not dwelling on the tragic occurrences of the past that have led one down this road, nor the suddenly circumvented future that one may feel has been unjustly taken away, can also help the patient to avoid falling into a state of depression and hopelessness.