Survival Rates Of Mesothelioma Cancer At Its Last Stages

Treatment options offered to patients are decided on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the stage of mesothelioma. Likewise, the survival rate of the disease is also dependent on its development stage and reduces significantly in the last stages. Staging refers to the extent of the cancer developments within patients and is characterized by the kind of tumor and the degree to which it has spread throughout the body. With the knowledge of the various stages, the mesothelioma specialists are able to decide on a treatment plan and identify clinical trials for them. The type or treatment also depends on the reason for the development of the cancer, the kind of tumor, its propensity for invasion of nearby organs and tissues as well as the distant spread or metastatic to other body parts.

The Brigham System is the latest form of staging system used in the diagnosis of mesothelioma and is done based on resectability which indicates the ability to surgically remove the tumor and lymph node involvement. The grading system is as follows:

Stage I: Resectable mesothelioma and no lymph node involvement
Stage II: Resectable mesothelioma but with lymph node involvement
Stage III: Unresectable mesothelioma with reach to chest wall, heart, or through diaphragm, peritoneum; with or without extra-thoracic lymph node involvement
Stage IV: Distant metastatic disease
Survival Rate of Mesothelioma Patients

Every year, over 3000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States. This aggressive cancer has a long latency period resulting in those diagnosed with the disease having a very low survival rate. The aggressive nature of the cancer is caused predominantly from asbestos exposure during their developmental ages or the industry in which they were employed. Sadly, the chances of survival for victims inflicted with the disease are quite low and usually not many of them survive beyond five years post diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Survival Rate when Detected on time

The survival rate increases significantly the earlier the disease is detected. Another major problem with this cancer is that it is very difficult to detect at the early stages as the symptoms are very common, and people tend to ignore them and results in late discovery. Usually the survival rate of mesothelioma patients beyond 5 years is less than 9 %, with only about 40% of them able to survive more than a year after diagnosis.

Mesothelioma survival rates depend on various factors such as:

* The stage of the cancer
* The form of cancer based on its histology
* The health condition of the patients
* The characteristics of the tumor such as its size and location
* The kind of symptoms found among the patients such as fluid accumulation

Despite all these factors, the treatment option and the medical attention given to the patients also help in deciding the patient’s survival rate. In addition, though still without a cure for this cancer, the treatment options also help in reducing pain and trauma experienced patients.

According to various studies conducted on mesothelioma, patients diagnosed with stage 1 mesothelioma have a 50 percent chance of living for about 5 years provided the treatment provided is appropriate and aggressive. Those with Stage 2 have about 2-4 years and those with Stage 3 have an average survival rate of 6-8 months. Patients with Stage 4 and higher mesothelioma usually survive for fewer than 6 months.

According to the Mayo Clinic, when mesothelioma is diagnosed at the later stages, the treatment options are not very effective and are just used for relieving pain and for providing maximum comfort. The pain reduces significantly if the patient is in good health and below 50 years.

By: Chris M. Alexander

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