No one wants a diagnosis for mesothelioma, but what factors can affect your mesothelioma prognosis?
The prognosis for mesothelioma is usually poor, but a variety of factors can improve the prognosis.
Malignant mesothelioma is a highly aggressive form of cancer that has a long latency period. This means that it is usually undetected until the cancer is in an advanced stage. Because of this, the prognosis is usually poor and most patients only live a year or two after they are diagnosed. The prognosis, however, has slowly improved over recent years because of experimental treatments and other developments. There are new detection and diagnostic methods that can catch the illness sooner and make it more treatable before it advances beyond treatment reach. There are also ongoing clinical trials and research to improve the prognosis even further.
So what factors can affect your mesothelioma prognosis? Your prognosis will vary based on the location of your issue. Peritoneal mesothelioma is located in the abdomen while pleural mesothelioma is situated in the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma usually carries with it a better prognosis than other locations. Pericardial mesothelioma is located in the heart and has a very poor prognosis. When you are first diagnosed, it is important to know the location of your mesothelioma in order to fully understand the overall prognosis and treatment plan. The location is a large factor in how the illness will affect your life.
There are three main cell types of mesothelioma and each carry a different prognosis. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common type. While it is a mouthful, it is the cell type you want to hear when you are diagnosed because it has the best prognosis attached to it. Sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma are lower on the prognosis scale. Epithelioid is the most common and the most studied and can be hard to distinguish among other cancers, such as adenocarcinoma lung cancer. Adenocarcinoma lung cancer forms from glandular epithelial cells and is the most common form of lung cancer. Mesothelioma forms when the epithelial cells mutate into cancer cells and no longer serve their original purpose.
The stage the mesothelioma patients are in when they are diagnosed are also very important to the overall prognosis. Often, the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the prognosis. Patients who are diagnosed at an early stage are usually better off than those who are caught in a later stage. If you are diagnosed in Stage I or II, there are treatment options available. By the time you reach Stage III or IV, you will usually only get treatments for pain relief to alleviate discomfort as the illness has already settled too deeply into you for healing to occur. It is a good idea to understand the different stages so you know where you are in relation to the others and what it all means for your prognosis.
If your mesothelioma is in one location and it is caught in an early stage, your prognosis will be better than if it has spread to other parts of your body. The prognosis sinks when the disease has spread because it is harder to remove the cancer from a variety of locations. Whether you have surgery or attempt to kill the mesothelioma with chemotherapy, the more locations that have it, the worse the prognosis will be. There is nothing that can stop mesothelioma from spreading to other areas once you have it if it goes undetected. Your best shot it finding it early so you can stop it from spreading before it’s too late.
If you are relatively young and healthy, you will likely have a better prognosis than someone who is older or in poor health. Your body can handle the harsh treatments that it will have to go through better than others. Older patients often have other conditions that can make the disease worse or limit the treatment options to ones that may not work as well as others. If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, take heart if you are in good health otherwise. You will more likely be able to withstand the type of treatment you need in order to rid your body of the cancer you are fighting.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your prognosis before you are ever diagnosed. Mesothelioma lawyers indicate the best thing you can do is catch the disease early so you can start your fight. Using blood tests can help identify biomarkers, or high levels of certain substances in the blood. Researchers are starting to have better luck detecting mesothelioma earlier. It is also a good idea to note the relationship between this type of cancer and asbestos. If you have been exposed to asbestos, you need to talk to your doctor. Take note of any symptoms you have and ask about mesothelioma when you consult your physician.
After you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, mesothelioma lawyers suggest that you think about the things you can change within your life. You can’t change your age, your overall health, the location of the cells or metastasis, but you can change a few other items that can improve your chances against the disease. Use items that alleviate mental and physical stress, like massage, holistic practices and meditation. You can improve your overall prognosis by taking these stresses away from your body. It is also a good idea to eat nutritious foods and keep your body as healthy as possible for your upcoming treatments. You will need to be as strong as you can to face surgery, chemotherapy and other treatment plans. These are what factors can affect your mesothelioma prognosis.
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