‘Exploring Mesothelioma: Survival Rate and Hope for the Future’ is part one of a four-part series that looks at a rare and deadly form of cancer, which primarily attacks victims who were exposed to asbestos—a toxic substance that was used, in abundance, to manufacture common household products through the late part of the 20th century.
When you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, one of the first questions you’ll probably ask is, “how long?” Sadly, the truth is grim: mesothelioma is considered to be a universally terminal type of cancer that offers little or no hope for full recovery. In fact, the only true promise of recovery from mesothelioma lies in the new and cutting-edge treatment methods that are being continuously developed, discovered and tested.
In cases of mesothelioma, the survival rate is virtually nonexistent. There is no cure, and the extensive damage that the cancer causes to affected organs ultimately proves fatal for anyone in its path. There is, however, a wide discrepancy in how long people diagnosed with mesothelioma live after finding out that they have the disease.
Though the typical post-diagnosis lifespan of mesothelioma victims is between six and 18 months—with few that survive past two years—there are some notable exceptions.
Paul Kraus tells what has to be one of the most remarkable stories of survivorship ever told. A Holocaust survivor, who lived through imprisonment in the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp of Nazi Germany, Kraus later developed mesothelioma cancer—most likely attributable to his having worked next to an asbestos plant during college. Despite the bleak mesothelioma survival rate and an initially terminal diagnosis, Kraus has gone on to live an unprecedented 16 years and become widely known as the world’s longest-living mesothelioma victim.
Kraus has credited alternative treatments, including a strictly guided vegetarian diet and nutritional regimen, for his extraordinary survival. He also touts the miracle of “positive thinking,” a holistic method purported by other victims who have beat the odds and lived past the five-year mark—generally considered to be a maximum cap on a mesothelioma lifespan.
In addition to the promise offered by alternative and natural therapies, there may be new mesothelioma treatment methods on the medical science horizon. Included among those is a process called immunotherapy, which uses live viruses to attack cancer cells present in the body. Immunotherapy involves the administering of “vaccinations” that are intended to stimulate a person’s immune system to essentially fight off the cancer that has—along with traditional treatment methods—been gravely suppressed it. New drugs, including some already existent medications that are used to treat chronic conditions like high blood pressure, are also in the development phase.
For victims of mesothelioma, the survival rate may yet expand. Both advances in medical science and sometimes-ancient holistic healing techniques hold promise for revolutionizing the standard of cancer treatment in America and saving the lives of millions worldwide.