Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Research scientists and medical practitioners have worked very hard to improve mesothelioma life expectancy rates of patients for decades. While there is no specific cure for mesothelioma, patients may elect to undergo intensive treatment that may help extend their life expectancy or improve the patient’s overall quality of life.

Mesothelioma is an uncommon cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient is affected by a number of factors, which are:

• Latency Period – Unlike other forms of cancers with symptoms that surface quickly, asbestos fibers that cause mesothelioma over time can lay dormant in the body for up to 50 years. This long period of latency often results in a delayed diagnosis. In many situations, the diagnosis is, made when it has already reached final stages of the illness, making mesothelioma treatment very tedious and sometimes unsuccessful.

• Mesothelioma patients diagnosed in advanced stages will typically receive palliative treatments rather than curative, which serve to make the patient more relaxed and increase their quality of life rather than cure the disease.

• Age of Diagnosis – Most reports indicate that the median age of a mesothelioma patient is 60. In fact, more than 75 percent of mesothelioma patients diagnosed in the United States occur in men age 55 or older. However, some researchers think that the average age is dropping due to the flood of cases from secondary exposure. When an older person develops mesothelioma cancer, treatment can be, negotiated due to the presence of other health-related problems. These might include heart diseases, additional lung problems, and high blood pressure. Old age and the presence of other diseases can greatly affect a patient’s life span. In other words, it can have a significant impact on the mesothelioma life expectancy rate.

• Types of Mesothelioma – There are three major types of mesothelioma an individual can develop. The most known is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs. Other classes of this cancer include peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, which affect the lining of the abdomen and heart. Since pleural mesothelioma influences most mesothelioma patients, more knowledge and research about this form of the cancer is present to use when detailing a treatment plan, often increasing mesothelioma life expectancy

• Smoking – It is known well by one and all that smoking can greatly decrease the life span of an individual who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma should quit smoking instantly.

Those who are devoting time to researching mesothelioma are constantly testing new advanced ways to improve the life expectancy of patients with this disease. This is, accomplished greatly through clinical trials, which test new medicines and treatments. Many futuristic and promising alternatives to conventional treatments have materialized from clinical trials and patients often benefit from participating. Tests to diagnose mesothelioma in its earliest stages are, also being developed, which may result in more effective and efficient treatment of the disease.

Mesothelioma life expectancy rate in patients can also be affected by treatment. A doctor will make treatment recommendations based on a number of factors.

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