Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare, but serious cancer that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and fever, among other symptoms. The answer to the question “Is mesothelioma always fatal?” depends on many factors, such as age, overall health, and the stage of the cancer.
As treatment options have advanced, some studies have indicated that survival rates might be improving. Mesothelioma prognosis and surgical options are better in the early stages of the disease. However, this form of cancer is quite often identified in the later stages. The majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma live less than five years after the initial diagnosis.
Common Questions About an Uncommon Illness: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest. The vast majority of cases are caused by exposure to asbestos. Many of these exposures occur on job sites decades before the disease is diagnosed.
Is mesothelioma curable? The simple answer is yes. Unfortunately, in most cases, a cure—or even a long-term recovery—is very unlikely. However, armed with knowledge and resources, you and your family can better understand mesothelioma and the many questions which surround it.
Types of Mesothelioma and Your Mesothelioma Prognosis
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is the most common form of mesothelioma. There are three primary sub-classifications of MPM:
The outlook for victims with epithelioid mesothelioma is more promising than those suffering from sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.
The stage of the disease is also an important factor in your mesothelioma prognosis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the only form of mesothelioma with a formal staging system. The stages run from IA – IV (one A – four). These stages reflect the progression of the disease from isolated and operable to widespread and inoperable. A patient diagnosed with stage IA has a much better prognosis than that of an individual in the later stages of the illness (though many other factors contribute to your overall mesothelioma prognosis).
Survival Rates: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?
Survival rates tell us the percentage of individuals with a disease who lived for a specified period of time after diagnosis (two years or five years, for example). They can help to answer the question “Is mesothelioma fatal?”
At stage IA, the two-year survival rate is 46% and the five-year survival rate is 16%. When the disease has progressed to stage IV, the two-year survival rate drops to 17% and the five-year rate to less than 1%. These survival rates underscore the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in mesothelioma cases.
Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal? What to Ask Your Doctor
Survival rates provide a guide or an estimate, but each case of mesothelioma is different. You should discuss your specific situation in-depth with an experienced physician. The majority of doctors have not handled many of these cases and will refer you to a specialist.
Once you find the right physician, it is important that you establish a good relationship and ask the right questions. The American Cancer Society has prepared a list of questions to ask and also provides other resources, information, and assistance that can be very helpful to mesothelioma patients and their families.
Your Mesothelioma Prognosis and Finding the Help You Need
In addition to the resources mentioned above, the American Cancer Society and other organizations often provide help with lodging, transportation, and other issues related to your treatment. Hospitals and providers offer additional services that can be helpful, as well.
If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Our attorneys will handle the details of your case so you can focus on your personal well-being and that of your family.
Is mesothelioma always fatal? When a question like this looms in your mind, you and your family should not have to worry about finances and recovering losses from those responsible for your illness. Contact the Nemeroff Law Firm today for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Reach us by phone at 866-342-1929 or complete our online form now.