Mesothelioma prognosis refers to the likely outcome of a disease and the survival likelihood. Mesothelioma cancer has a poor prognosis, and most patients don’t live past a year. As for malignant mesothelioma, the life expectancy rate is between 18 and 31 months, making it quite fatal. Its long latency period causes a late diagnosis. The cell type, tumor location, and age are other factors that affect prognosis data.
Even though there is no mesothelioma cure, prognosis has significantly improved in recent years due to the advancements in clinical trials and diagnostic methods.
Prognosis by Mesothelioma Type
The different types of mesothelioma highly affect the prognosis of the disease.
Pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs and has the highest mortality rate. With some treatment, the patient lives up to 18 months. Surgery, coupled with chemo, helps lengthens a patient’s survival period.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen. The patients can survive up to 2 years. The high survival rate is due to advancements in medical treatments.
Prognosis for Rare Mesothelioma Types
Pericardial mesothelioma develops on the linings of the heart. Patients diagnosed with this disease do not live longer than 6 months, and most diagnosis happens after death.
Testicular Mesothelioma is the rarest type of cancer usually found on the linings of the testes. Prognosis data shows that a patient can live for 20-23 months, with some patients living longer.
What Other Factors Affect Prognosis?
There are several factors that physicians can use to provide patients with a prognosis. However, how a disease progresses depends on a case-by-case basis.
Patients diagnosed during the early stages of mesothelioma have a better prognosis and treatment options than those diagnosed late. Stage 1 mesothelioma patients can survive up to 21 months, stage 2 up to 19 months, stage 3 up to 16 months, and stage 4 up to 12 months.
The type of cells that constitute mesothelioma tumors also have an impact on prognosis. The epithelioid cells have the best prognosis as they spread slower and are most responsive to treatment. Sarcomatoid cells have the least prognosis due to the fast-spreading of the cells and not responding to treatment.
Biphasic tumors have both the sarcomatoid and the epithelioid cells. More epithelioid cells mean a higher survival rate for the patient.
Gender, age, race, and a person’s health also feature in mesothelioma prognosis data. Studies have shown that patients up to 50 years old have a better prognosis than those above 75 yrs. Older patients may not bear up against the side effects of treatment.
Accessing Compensation for Mesothelioma Patients
U.S veterans and other mesothelioma patients are encouraged to follow up on the Veteran Affairs (VA) mesothelioma benefits, including:
• Healthcare benefits
• Aid and attendance
• Monthly payouts to support living expenses
• Disability compensation
Family members may also qualify for VA benefits such as:
• Funeral honors
• Reimbursement of funeral and burial costs
• Health care for all dependents
• Pension for the survivors
• Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Veterans or civilian mesothelioma patients may also get compensation from lawsuit settlements awards of up to $1million. A veteran or civilian can still file a VA claim after receiving the lawsuit or the asbestos fund’s compensation.
A Call to Patients
While some prognostic factors are unchangeable, patients must adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating a proper diet and exercising regularly. This will improve the patient’s quality of life and responsiveness to treatment. A mesothelioma diagnosis is not a ticket to death. With proper medical care, some patients have lived much longer than their life expectancy period.