Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer often caused by exposure to the toxic substance asbestos. What makes mesothelioma particularly dangerous is its long latency period. This means that mesothelioma can go undetected for decades, which may delay a patient’s treatment until the disease is already in its later stages. This can make treatment much less effective.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma often occurs after exposure to asbestos, typically in the workplace or in older homes. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they become embedded in the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen—also known as the mesothelium. This causes the cells in these areas to divide at an abnormally fast rate, often leading to the development of tumors that put pressure on the affected organs and cause the death of the patient.
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma life expectancy can be affected by many factors including gender and lifestyle. While no two cases of mesothelioma are identical, there are commonalities between patients.
Currently, the average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients after diagnosis is six to 18 months. This can be greatly increased if the disease is caught in its earlier stages. However, mesothelioma’s long latency period makes this a rare occurrence.
Recent research shows that a combination of several different treatments may improve a mesothelioma patient’s life expectancy. Here are some of their findings:
Using a combination of chemotherapy administered prior to surgery that removes the entire diseased lung increases the average survival time by approximately two years.
In cases where there is a local recurrence of the disease, high-dose radiation administered to the entire side of the thorax containing the diseased lung after it has been removed has increased patients’ life expectancy.
Suffering from Mesothelioma? We’re Here to Help
We know that a mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating, particularly when accompanied by the knowledge that your disease could have been prevented if your employer had taken the proper measures to protect your health.
At Shrader & Associates L.L.P., we’re passionate about helping mesothelioma patients secure justice in the wake of such negligence.
Contact us today at (713) 787-3733 to schedule a consultation with our team.