Discussing the subject of mesothelioma life expectancy is certainly not a pleasant one. Yet, it is a subject that must be discussed if you have been diagnosed with the condition. Actually, it also is a subject that should be raised to those fearing they have been exposed to asbestos and have not undergone a proper diagnosis from a physician. Once such a person realizes the severe life threatening nature of mesothelioma, it is doubtful the individual will wait much longer for a proper diagnosis.
Once again, mesothelioma is a severe form of cancer. It has taken the lives of many people that have contracted it. As a result, it is vitally important to seek out medical treatment as soon as humanly possible as this will potentially increase the chances of survival of the person with cancerous tumors.
The outlook of a person suffering from mesothelioma will be based on several factors. The only way to determine these factors would be to undergo a complete examination designed to determine the severity of the condition. Whether or not the cancer was detected early or late; the stage of the cancer; and whether or not the cancer has spread through the body would all be among the factors associated with how long a person's life expectancy will be.
So, while there are no guarantees whatsoever in terms of how successful treatment may be, early detection will have the greatest impact on mesothelioma life expectancy. The survival rate increases when effective treatment is instituted. Note: treatment always has a greater chance of being successful when cancer is discovered at an early stage.
To repeat, there is no way to uniformly determine a blanket mesothelioma life expectancy. However, there are statistics available that allow for researchers to examine the average life expectancy of one suffering from this cancer.
There are three major forms that mesothelioma takes: pleural mesothelioma which afflicts the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma which deals with the abdominal region; and pericardial mesothelioma which is somewhat rare and affects the heart. A fourth form, testicular mesothelioma is extremely rare and hardly diagnosed. With the three major forms of the cancer, mesothelioma life expectancy will vary.
Pleural mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer and if undetected and untreated the chances for survival will range from four to 18 months. Peritoneal mesothelioma will only yield a five month to 13 month outlook if not treated. Because pericardial mesothelioma is so rare and research is limited, an estimation of the average life span when not treated is very difficult to ascertain.
Of course, with appropriate treatment, the ability to extend one's life span dramatically is possible. This is because treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can slow down the growth and spread of the cancer cells. Chemotherapy and radiation may, potentially, destroy the cancer cells. Surgery can be employed to outright remove the cancerous tumors. The possibility of using combinations of any two or all three of the methods remains an option as well.
As previously mentioned, there will be a variety of factors that contribute to the ability for the treatment to be effective. The absence or presence of other diseases or disorders may play a role in how effective the treatment may be. In some instances, issues such as the actual location of the cancerous tumors can determine the treatment employed which, in turn, will affect life expectancy. A common example of that would be the presence of tumors near the heart. The high risk of performing surgery in such a region would often eliminate the procedure from consideration. The impact on one's life expectancy when procedures are reduced could possibly be negative.
Of course, a patient will need to do his or her part to extend life expectancy. Lifestyle choices can significantly impact how long or how short your life expectancy is. For example, someone that continues to smoke after being diagnosed with mesothelioma will drastically reduce his or her life expectancy. As such, it is well advised to follow all lifestyle suggestions made by a physician if the goal is to increase mesothelioma life expectancy.
The ability to extend mesothelioma life expectancy is never guaranteed. However, there are certainly ways this can be done. Determinations, however, will need to be made on a case by case basis.