Mesothelioma is a rare but very serious form of cancer—known as one of the most aggressive and terminal medical conditions affecting Americans today. Tragically, it is also one of the most preventable. Mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by exposure to a known toxic carcinogen called asbestos that, despite stringent and overarching government regulation, remains a material used in some specific sectors of the American manufacturing industry today.
There is much information about mesothelioma and its relation to asbestos floating around today; and not all of that information is current, comprehensive or even entirely factual. Also, many of the resources out there are not designed for victims themselves, failing to answer the most pressing questions of those directly affected by the disease or presenting those answers in a convoluted or excessively technical context that is difficult for the average person to understand.
In response to these deficits, we have created this six-part guide with the informational needs of mesothelioma victims and their loved ones in mind. The following articles are designed to be both brief and comprehensive, as well as easily understood and targeted towards the most common inquiries made by victims of mesothelioma and asbestos.
For even more information and free legal guidance to understanding your rights after illegal or negligent asbestos exposure, contact the experienced and dedicated attorneys of Shrader Law and Associates, LLP.
For both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, the prognosis is universally poor. Some statistical data seems to indicate increased diagnostic and treatment difficulties in patients with the peritoneal variety—most likely result of its relative rarity, which restricts research opportunities and clinical experience that can improve treatment methods as well as diagnostic accuracy.
In general, most patients are given a mesothelioma life expectancy of somewhere between four and 18 months. Close to 40 percent of all mesothelioma victims live for a year post-diagnosis, while only about 20 percent make it to the two-year mark. The good news is that the pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma prognosis given to a patient does depend largely on a number of individualized factors, some of which are actually within the patient’s direct control.
Factors Affecting Prognosis
The most influential factors that doctors look at, in developing a mesothelioma prognosis, pertain to the disease itself, including the stage of advancement, cell type, and location of origin. Other influential factors are related to the patient directly, including age, gender, and general health at the time of diagnosis. All of these factors together help determine what type of treatment(s) an individual is eligible for, which of course, plays perhaps the most important role of all in one’s ultimate prognosis.
Certain variables, related to overall health and physical resiliency, that are almost entirely patient-controlled—including diet, exercise, stress management, and even general attitude towards recovery—have been indicated as contributing influences on patients’ ultimate treatment outcome and length of survival.
Future Outlook for Mesothelioma Patients
Although progress has been slow, there has been some advancement in treatment methodology and diagnostic procedures—resulting in slight improvements in the average pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma prognosis. It is expected that, as research into the disease and treatment measures continue, the overall mesothelioma survival rate will begin to improve significantly. Cancer experts particularly stress the importance of developing improved diagnostic and screening measures, as the key to successfully combating the illness often lies in early detection.