Mesothelioma is a cancerous disease which affects the lining of important body organs such as the lungs, heart and the abdomen. This disease can be managed or treated by surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient
A person diagnosed with mesothelioma on average has a life expectancy of 12 to 21 months. Note that many people have lived twice or triple the estimated life expectancy. But this is with the aid of treatment such as surgery and chemotherapy.
All the average cases of estimated life expectancy takes into account all the cases of mesothelioma. If a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that they speak with their doctor for more advice on how to treat or manage the disease.
Factors that affect the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient
The first factor that is used when determining the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient is the location where the disease originated from. The patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma are the lucky ones with the longest life expectancy often going on for several years. Pleural mesothelioma or the mesothelioma for the lungs takes the second position with regard to life expectancy (one or two years), while pericardial mesothelioma has the poorest life expectancy.
The cell types which make up the mesothelioma disease in a patient also determine how fast the disease will spread. The cells which spread the fastest are called sarcomatoid cells, although they are the rarest. The most common cell types are the epitheliod cells, and they spread the slowest. The third type of cells is biphasic cells. These are a combination of epitheliod and sarcomatoid and so this varies the life expectancy.
Mesothelioma stage is method that is used to determine how advances the mesothelioma of a patient is. The patients who has early stage mesothelioma have better life expectancy (about two years) than the patient who has the late stage mesothelioma. (about 12 months)
How to improve the life expectancy
The best way to improve the life expectancy of mesothelioma is early diagnoses. There are more curative options for the patients when mesothelioma is detected early. When the cancer is detected late, the patients has less options, such as palliative treatment. The problem with mesothelioma is that it has a very long latency period and nonspecific symptoms which makes it difficult for it to be detected at early stages.
Even with early detection, treatment is the secret to extend mesothelioma survival rate. Patients with aggressive treatment tolerance have the best chances of surviving mesothelioma. Without treatment, the life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is very poor.
Treatments that extend the life expectancy
The most effective way to extend life expectancy of mesothelioma patients is surgery. Treatment options for surgery are available for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.
The two options available for surgery of pleural mesothelioma patients are the decortication pleurectomy(P/D) and extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP).
EPP has increased the survival rate for patients based on a recent study to about 27 months. The P/D which is less invasive for pleural mesothelioma patients increases the survival rate to 20 months.
This is a combination of treatment options such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Using multiple treatment options has generally increased the life expectancy all mesothelioma patients.