How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pleural Mesothelioma?
People who are exposed to asbestos by being in contact with a defective asbestos product or a material that is manufactured with asbestos can be diagnosed as having mesothelioma. This deadly disease strikes the abdomen, chest and heart. The symptoms of mesothelioma can become evident approximately four to twenty years after asbestos exposure. Because it takes a long time for symptoms to surface, those who have been exposed to asbestos may not know they have the condition until it is too late. Unfortunately, once this deadly disease is diagnosed, there is no cure.
Although mesothelioma affects men more often than women, anyone can be affected. Patients with Stage I mesothelioma typically have a median life expectancy that is between five and ten years, while patients with Stage II mesothelioma are generally diagnosed with longer life expectancies ranging between fifteen and twenty years. Stage III mesothelioma is the most aggressive form of the disease and patients diagnosed with this level of mesothelioma often have symptoms that last for several years.
For those who survive, the treatments used will drastically affect their overall health. The goal of treatment is to improve the patient’s quality of life, while reducing the size of the cancerous tumor. Treatments for mesothelioma include surgery (to remove the infected tissue), chemotherapy (to kill malignant cells and shrink tumors) and radiation therapy (to destroy healthy tissue and shrink tumors). Depending on the type of mesothelioma and its severity, the treatment options will vary as well.
Since most people with mesothelioma tend to live long lives, doctors generally try to treat the disease as soon as they are diagnosed. In fact, if the patient has been diagnosed with Stage I and II mesothelioma, physicians may try to diagnose them in the early stages to determine whether it has gotten worse or not. They may then decide to aggressively pursue surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, in the case of Stage III mesothelioma, there is usually nothing else to do other than to focus on the overall improvement of the patient’s condition.
In general, doctors determine the median survival time based on the patient’s age, weight, gender, overall health, and other factors. Men usually have a higher life expectancy than women, and the condition tends to strike men around the time of their 20s. On the other hand, women generally have a higher life expectancy than men, especially if they undergo treatment. Pericardial mesothelioma often affects men in their 50s, but life expectancies can vary depending on the patient’s other factors as well as the stage of the cancer. As with all statistics, however, this is a rough estimate.
There are a number of factors that can affect a patient’s mesothelioma life expectancy without treatment. For example, older patients may be at a higher risk for this type of cancer, which can make a difference in how long someone who has been diagnosed with it might have to live. The body’s immune system also makes a difference, with younger people having stronger immune systems and being more able to fight off various infections and diseases. The quality of life, overall, can also make a difference. It seems that those who lead healthier lives and eat a balanced diet tend to live longer than those who don’t. Those who smoke, drink heavily, take drugs and who have no history of cancer in their families are also more likely to face this challenge.