The first stage of mesothelioma is relatively benign, affording no long-term treatment options. The second stage consists of a tumor that has grown large enough to be pressing against the side of the chest wall cavity. A wedge-shaped scar is now visible above the chest cavity lining. This second stage of mesothelioma often involves several additional tumors. Regardless of the initial site of tumor growth, mesothelioma continues to increase in size over time.
Pleural mesothelioma patients can expect a life expectancy extending from two to five years, though this depends on the location and aggressiveness of the cancer. Malignant mesothelioma patients with both the first and second stages are at high risk for death. For this reason, survival rates for malignant mesothelioma are extremely low. The median survival time following diagnosis is about a year.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is less common than other forms of mesothelioma, as the lining of the abdominal cavity can retract into the abdominal cavity easily. As a result, peritoneal mesothelioma is frequently associated with pleura that have spread beyond the original cancerous area. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the third most common form of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy is variable, ranging from approximately two to five years. With this type of cancer, physicians usually recommend a short-course treatment option in combination with more aggressive therapy.
The treatment options available for patients with pleura are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Chemotherapy is the use of medications to treat and kill cancer cells. The most widely used chemotherapy agents are doxorubicin and carboplatinum. Although these agents can work wonders at curing pleural mesothelioma, they have serious side effects and are not appropriate for patients with top mesothelioma or those who are immune compromised. In addition, chemotherapy may not be effective in the presence of metastatic cancer. For these reasons, it is not a good idea to use chemotherapy for any kind of pleural mesothelioma, whether it has first or second stage.
Radiation therapy (radiation therapy or radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays (like x-rays) to damage mesothelioma tumors and kill cancer cells in a localized area. This treatment modality offers a good prognosis, but the survival rate following treatment depends on several factors including the type, size, and location of the cancer cells. The side effects of radiotherapy include fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation, nausea, and pain. Many people suffering from this condition also suffer from side effects caused by chemotherapy drugs. The outlook for full recovery and life expectancy after treatment is unpredictable. However, improvements in medical technology are steadily increasing the chances of achieving a good outcome.
If you think that you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, getting a good prognosis is critical to improving your quality of life. Your mesothelioma diagnosis should not keep you from living an active life. A diagnosis by a qualified oncologist will help you determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. You may want to consider speaking to a mesothelioma attorney who can evaluate your case and provide sound advice. There are many resources available to you including support groups, legal counsel, and software programs to help you.