Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms tumors in and around one's vital organs. These tumors result in the lining of these organs becoming abnormal, imperiling an individual's life in the process.
The rise of mesothelioma has been linked to the use of asbestos in the building and manufacturing industries. Beginning in the 1940s, thousands of workers in locations such as shipyards and power plants inhaled or ingested asbestos, which resulted in many of these workers developing mesothelioma later in life.
Currently, there are three known forms of mesothelioma, which are determined by the location of one's tumors. If an individual has developed tumors in their abdominal lining, then they have peritoneal mesothelioma. If the tumors manifest in one's lungs, then they can be said to have pleural mesothelioma. The most severe form of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma, which attacks the lining of the heart.
One's mesothelioma prognosis depends on a number of factors. These include the type of mesothelioma, the stage of mesothelioma, the size and location of the tumor, and one's overall health.
Types of Mesothelioma
The form of mesothelioma with the most optimistic prognosis is pleural mesothelioma. Statistics show that ten percent of pleural mesothelioma patients will live on for five years or more after their initial diagnosis.
Pericardial mesothelioma patients have the least optimistic prognosis, as the disease's close proximity to one's heart makes surgery especially risky, even when diagnosed in an early stage.
Stages of Mesothelioma
The severity of one's mesothelioma is usually described in terms of four different stages. If one's mesothelioma is in Stage 1 or Stage 2, then they have a better prognosis than those whose disease has reached Stage 3 or Stage 4. This is due to the fact that the available treatment options dwindle once the disease has passed Stage 2, and surgery may no longer be feasible.
The location and size of the tumor also affects a patient's prognosis. If one's tumor is small and has not yet spread into other parts of their body, then it may be possible to remove it through surgery. Once the tumor begins to grow and branch out, however, the patient's prognosis becomes poorer.
What Affects Your Prognosis?
Mesothelioma patients without pre-existing health issues typically have a better prognosis than those who do. When an individual is otherwise healthy, they have a better chance of surviving the more intensive mesothelioma treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The practice of smoking also affects one's prognosis, with non-smokers generally having a better outlook than those who light up regularly.
Additional Factors that Affect Your Life Expectancy
Studies have shown that women have a better mesothelioma prognosis than men, and those 55 years old or younger have a more positive prognosis than the elderly.
If you have developed mesothelioma and desire information on your available treatment options, then please fill out our simple online form today.