Mesothelioma Survival Rate
Those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma must understand, first and foremost, that there is currently no known cure for the disease. Like any other form of cancer, the symptoms of mesothelioma can be treated, and there are various traditional and non-traditional therapeutic options for relieving pain and possibly extending the lives of patients. While it is impossible to determine an exact mesothelioma survival rate for all patients, most are given between six and eighteen months to live upon receiving their diagnosis.
This is not to say, however, that if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma that you should lose hope. Cancer treatments and therapies are evolving rapidly, and many patients find hope in participating in clinical trials. Some people have famously lived with mesothelioma for years, including Stephen Jay Gould, who survived the disease for 20 years, and Paul Kraus, who continues to maintain a high quality of life 14 years after being diagnosed.
Whether you suspect that you may have mesothelioma, or you have already been diagnosed with the disease, there are several things you can do to assert some control over the future of your health. Speaking with an experienced attorney may help to alleviate some of the stress that is involved.
Be Proactive about Discussing Mesothelioma with Your Doctor
As a rare form of cancer, mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in its earlier stages, when it is most treatable. By being familiar with the symptoms of mesothelioma and being proactive about discussing the condition with your doctor, you increase the chances that the disease will be caught before it has a chance to enter its more advanced stages. Patients who undergo treatment in the early stages of mesothelioma can live months and even years longer than those who are diagnosed with the disease after it has progressed.
If you know or suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos at any time during your life, raise the issue with your doctor, even if you are showing none of the symptoms of mesothelioma. This information should be entered into your medical history so that asbestos-related conditions will be considered whenever appropriate in any future diagnoses.
Know Your Treatment Options
The efficacy of any given treatment option depends largely on the stage and type of mesothelioma, as well as the size and location of the tumor. When performed individually, surgery and radiation have shown no real promise in terms of extending the lives of mesothelioma patients. In some patients, however, chemotherapy has helped both to extend their lives and to improve their quality of life. Studies into combining chemotherapies have produced mixed results; however, multi-modality therapies – surgery combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, for instance – have shown some promise, particularly among patients who receive treatment when the mesothelioma is still in its earlier stages.
Many mesothelioma patients turn to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage for relief from their symptoms. Those who are interested in investigating alternative therapies may wish to read Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide by Paul Kraus, who has survived mesothelioma since 1997 while eschewing traditional medical therapies.
Understand the Statistics
Statistics regarding the survival rate of mesothelioma can be disheartening. They can also be misleading. While the median survival rate for mesothelioma is currently less than a year, there are those rare cases in which mesothelioma patients survive for years after diagnosis. The prognosis for mesothelioma is indeed poor; however, there is no way to accurately predict how long an individual patient will live with the disease or how well he or she may respond to various therapies. As a greater number of mesothelioma cases are being reported, research into the disease and its treatment is likewise increasing. Maintaining hope and optimism in the face of adversity often pay dividends that cannot be explained by science.
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney
Stress has an incontrovertible effect on an individual’s overall health, especially when that person’s health is being compromised by a serious disease such as mesothelioma. Securing the services of an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help to reduce stress, particularly in terms of the financial pressures created by mounting medical and home care expenses. We invite you to contact a compassionate, knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney today for an evaluation of your asbestos-related case.