Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Survival rates for those diagnosed with mesothelioma have actually been steadily improving over the past few decades due to new treatments, more research and better funding.


Icon are survival rates really on the rise

Are Survival Rates Really on the Rise?

If you’ve recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis you should take heart in the knowledge that survival rates are on the rise. There are main two reasons the fate of mesothelioma patients is so much brighter than it was just 10 years ago.

One reason is that doctors are getting better at detecting the cancer while it’s still in stage 1 or 2. The second reason for the improved survival rates is that treatments are better and more effective than they have been in the past.

How Mesothelioma Survival Time Gets Estimated

When an oncologist discovers that their patient has mesothelioma, they use several factors to estimate the patient’s survival time. These factors include:

  • Cell type
  • The overall health of the patient
  • Mesothelioma type
  • The lifestyle of the patient
  • Age, sex, and blood type of the patient
  • The location, size, and number of tumors

 

Based on the above factors, specialists can also determine which treatment plan will best suit a patient. More information is available to scientists than ever before, and research on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses continues to find new understanding and treatments for these diseases. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are actually living longer today than in the past, and the statistics are there to support these claims.

Not only are life expectancies increasing, but patients are also experiencing a better quality of life than in the past. Additionally, mesothelioma attorneys are helping patients receive the compensation they deserve, whether through filing lawsuits or claims against asbestos trust funds.


Don’t Let Current Survival Times Get You Down

When you look at the current average prognosis for individuals who’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, one can easily feel overwhelmed and hopeless. However, the stats aren’t as accurate as they first seem. There are several things that the stats don’t take into account, including:

Newly developed treatments – A great deal of mesothelioma research is underway. Many patients have responded positively to clinical trials which provide innovative means of treatment that can drastically improve your life expectancy.

Icon stats can be misleading
Stats can be misleading – When the statistics used to determine survival times are compiled, there’s no way to include information about patients who chose to not be treated or who didn’t seek out the assistance of experienced mesothelioma specialists.

 

The location and type of the cancer – The exact location of mesothelioma tumors have an enormous impact on how successful treatment will be and whether treatment is even a viable option. Cell types also significantly affect how well your body will respond to treatment.

Icon misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis – Mesothelioma is an extremely rare type of cancer and it’s frequently misdiagnosed until the very last moment, at which point there’s often little that can be done to treat the patient. As science reveals better ways to detect this disease, earlier detections and treatment options will continue to increase survival rates.

The National Cancer Institute recently conducted a study of patients with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. At the end of the study, it was concluded that the one-year survival time was about 40% accurate. The survival rate of patients after the second year drops to 11%, and then after the third year, the decrease is a very small 35%.

This study provides what mesothelioma specialists have always said: that the key to successfully being able to treat the cancer is early detection.

At this point, the difficult to detect pericardial mesothelioma before cancer reaches an advanced state, which makes it impossible to create a truly accurate life expectancy and survival rate. Many doctors don’t realize that their patient had developed the disease until after the patient has passed away.


Cell Type & Histology and their Impact on Survival Time

When an oncologist determines that a patient has mesothelioma, one of the main factors they use to determine survival time is the type of cancerous cells the patient has. Patients that have epithelioid cells are given a longer survival time than patient with sarcomatoid cells. Patients who have a combination of both cells, a type called biphasic are given a survival time that’s between the other two and based on which of the two is more prevalent.

Not only do epithelioid cells spread more slowly than sarcomatoid cells, but they also have the most positive response to radiation and chemotherapy. Sarcomatoid cells, while more aggressive and resistant, are far less common than epithelioid cells— only 10-20% of mesothelioma cases deal strictly in sarcomatoid cells.

The existence of different types and subtypes of cells is one of the reasons that some patients respond so well to one type of mesothelioma treatment while others respond better to a different type of treatment. A mesothelioma specialist will be able to offer advice about what types of treatments should be considered based on cell type.


The Impact of Age on Survival Time

As a rule, a patient who is younger when they’re diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer will be given a longer survival time than someone who has passed their 65th birthday. This doesn’t mean that an older patient should allow themselves to think that treatment isn’t an option. It is, especially if other than the mesothelioma, the patient is in really good health.

In fact, an older patient in excellent health will outlive a younger patient in poor health. finding an experienced mesothelioma specialist and working closely with them and your general practitioner are crucial. Your specialist may recommend lifestyle changes alongside your mesothelioma treatments to help extend your life expectancy and improve your overall quality of life.


Types of Mesothelioma and their Impact on Survival Time

The main forms of mesothelioma are pleural (in the lungs), peritoneal (in the abdomen), pericardial (in the heart), and testicular (in the testicles). Pleural and Peritoneal mesotheliomas are more common, so more treatments are available— in addition to more data and clinical trials.

Both peritoneal and pleural mesotheliomas have surgical treatments available that can help extend life expectancy and improve survival rates.

Patients with testicular mesothelioma often have better life expectancy than those with other forms of mesothelioma when calculated without treatment. Patients with pericardial suffer from the rarest form of mesothelioma.


The Impact of Gender on Survival Time

When it comes to mesothelioma women have a better survival rate than men. Only 6.5% of the men diagnosed with mesothelioma will be given a 5 year survival time, whereas 15.4% of women will receive a 5 year survival time.

In fact, an older patient in excellent health will outlive a younger patient in poor health. finding an experienced mesothelioma specialist and working closely with them and your general practitioner is crucial. Your specialist may recommend lifestyle changes alongside your mesothelioma treatments to help extend your life expectancy and improve your overall quality of life.

Types of Mesothelioma and their Impact on Survival Time

The main forms of mesothelioma are pleural (in the lungs), peritoneal (in the abdomen), pericardial (in the heart), and testicular (in the testicles). Pleural and Peritoneal mesotheliomas are more common, so more treatments are available— in addition to more data and clinical trials.

Both peritoneal and pleural mesotheliomas have surgical treatments available that can help extend life expectancy and improve survival rates.

Patients with testicular mesothelioma often have better life expectancy than those with other forms of mesothelioma when calculated without treatment. Patients with pericardial suffer from the rarest form of mesothelioma.


Surgical Treatments Frequently Improve Survival Times

A patient’s estimated life span will increase a great deal after they have had mesothelioma tumors surgically removed. The three most common surgical treatments are:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) – which is used to treat pleural mesothelioma
  • Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) – which is used to treat pleural mesothelioma
  • Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC – which is used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma

These three treatments are typically used only when patients are still in stage 1 or 2; however, some stage 3 and 4 patients can apply for clinical trials alongside surgery. The surgery, combined with chemotherapy or radiation can double their life expectancy.

Part of the reason for this is that removing current tumors slows the growth of cancerous cells, thus also slowing the cancer’s ability to spread. Additionally, blood vessels can be rerouted during surgery to prevent metastasis.

You Don’t Have to Be a Statistic

Survival rates and life expectancies are calculated on what data is available; however, results are not set in stone. They are based on an average of other patients who were diagnosed with similar conditions.

Many patients find that their survival times were not accurate; therefore, these numbers should be taken into consideration but not treated as concrete timelines.

Treatments, surgeries, and healthy living can all extend the numbers. All patients are unique— some will find treatments that work extremely well and live far longer than expected. Information is crucial during this time, and patients should work closely with their specialists and care providers.

If you are worried about the cost of treatment or your expenses during this time, you can also consider contacting a mesothelioma attorney to seek compensation. These attorneys are well-versed in the options available to you and the processes involved with each. For more information regarding compensation, fill out the Free Consultation form on this page to be contacted by a top-rated mesothelioma attorney.

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