Living with Mesothelioma prognosis

Living with Mesothelioma prognosis

Mesothelioma prognosis: A cancer diagnosis is never a good time; it can lead to sadness, confusion and depression. The type of cancer and the stage it is at, are what determine the prognosis and treatment. However, when you are dealing with mesothelioma, the prognosis is often poor.

Mesothelioma prognosis

Read below for details on mesothelioma, the causes and how to go about treating this form of cancer. Most importantly, learn about the support you can offer a loved one diagnosed with mesothelioma.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the organs. It is detected in the lungs, heart and testicles. There are over 2,600 cases each year, and most of them are in elderly patients. Sadly, because it can remain undetected for long periods, it is usually not found until it has reached an advanced stage.

What are the Causes?

In almost all cases, mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. This is a fibre that was used in buildings as a fire-retardant insulator for many years. It has been banned since 1989 in the US, but it may still be present in older buildings. Exposure was usually through breathing in asbestos dust, although symptoms can take 20 years or more to develop, which makes exposure difficult to determine.

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Unfortunately, a mesothelioma prognosis is usually poor due to the aggressive nature of cancer. There are options available to help slow the progress and therefore extend life, although the treatment is sometimes worse than the symptoms. Treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy – Using powerful medicine to try and shrink the tumours
  • Radiotherapy – High-energy radiation which kills the cancer cells to help slow down the progress
  • Surgery – To try and remove some or all of the tumours

The treatments are given to seek to give the patient as along as possible, although it is very rare that a patient will live longer than five years. You can read about other possible treatments at the Mesothelioma Prognosis Network.

Other Factors

There are several other factors can lead to a longer survival time. Those who are diagnosed at a younger age can get more benefit from treatment and survive longer. It also helps if the patient is otherwise fit and healthy though this is mainly due to their tolerance of the treatment rather than anything else.

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If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed, there are lots of support systems out there that can offer advice and therapy to help everyone affected by the diagnosis. Many charities such as The American Cancer Society, can help with organising physical as well as emotional support.

Other charities can give more direct assistance. They can arrange nurses to see you at home and aid with GP and hospital appointments.

The important thing to remember is that you have the support of your friends and family around you. It is something you should not have to deal with on your own, so seek all the advice you can.

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