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Surviving: The Prognosis for Mesothelioma

Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys help those who have been diagnosed.No one ever wants to here those three horrible words, “you have cancer.” But with prognoses varying so greatly from cancer to cancer, understanding the survival rate of the cancer which you have been diagnosed with can help to set goals and establish expectations.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs due to exposure to asbestos. It affects the lining of the lungs and other internal organs, and unfortunately has no cure.

Early Diagnosis Proves Difficult

For those diagnosed with mesothelioma, the prognosis is often very poor. This is because people with mesothelioma are generally diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, after it has already spread.

This is due in part because the initial symptoms of the disease present as other illnesses, and it tends not to develop until many years after the asbestos exposure occurred.

Survival Rates

About 55 percent of those with mesothelioma live longer than six months, and 35 percent will live longer than one year; but only 9 percent will live longer than five years. Much of these survival rates will depend upon the patient’s age and gender. Younger patients and women tend to have a better prognosis.

Other factors influencing survival rates include:

  • Blood counts: Those with high levels of white blood cells, platelets, or low hemoglobin negatively impact survival rates.
  • Cell type: Epithelioid mesothelioma usually has the highest rate of survival, followed by biphasic mesothelioma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma respectively.
  • Genetics: The biomarker BRCA1 gene being present has demonstrated a correlation to longer survival rates.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Non-smokers have a better prognosis than smokers generally do.
  • Location: Testicular mesothelioma has the best survival rates, while pericardial mesothelioma has the worst.
  • Overall health: Those in better health generally have an improved prognosis than those suffering from poor health factors, including a compromised immune system or obesity.

Despite the bleak outlook from such a diagnosis, there are still some stories of survival. Treatment, in particular treatment as early as possible, is the most important factor in terms of lengthening one’s survival rate.

Seeking Medical Attention

One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to see a doctor if you have been around asbestos or diagnosed with exposure to it in the past. Quick action can save lives. The earlier a diagnosis has been established, the higher one’s odds are for survival. Earlier treatments help to slow growth of and potentially eliminate tumors all together.

Unlike pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma has a higher survival rate for many patients. Newer treatments such as heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has increased patient survival rates, with 5-year peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates improving up to at least 50 percent.

Often clinical trials are a good idea for improving one’s prognosis. Aside from HIPEC, treatments such as immunotherapy are demonstrating potentially hopeful outcomes.

Philadelphia Mesothelioma Attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Help Those Who Have Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, you deserve an attorney who will fight for what it is that you deserve. The Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have experience helping victims of mesothelioma throughout the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey areas. From Delaware County to Chester County to Philadelphia County, we fight for our clients across Pennsylvania. For a free consultation or to learn more, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000 today.