4 Factors for Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Asbestos cancer or Mesothelioma is a formidable disease mainly caused by exposure to asbestos dust. The general life expectancy among patients after diagnosis is 4-18 months. However, no matter how grim the circumstances there are still reason for hope. The following are factors that could positively affect Mesothelioma life expectancy.
Symptoms for Mesothelioma become apparent only after 25-50 years after being initially exposed to asbestos. By this time the cancer is usually in its late stage. This accounts for the high mortality rate among Mesothelioma patients. So it is important for people who are aware of the fact that they have been exposed to asbestos to be screened yearly. Regular check-ups to assess symptoms related to the disease is also strongly advised. Early detection is key in increasing Mesothelioma life expectancy.
There are three general treatments for any type of cancer. One is chemotherapy, this is the introduction of drugs to the human body to stop cancer cells from multiplying. The downside is this process also damages healthy cells. Thus there are intervals between treatments to allow healthy cells to recover and rebuild themselves.
Radiation therapy is the second treatment plan. It involves the use of radiation in levels high enough to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells. There are two basic types, one is external radiation which is administered like a regular x-ray and the other is internal radiation where radioactive elements are placed within the body near the malignant cells.
The third common treatment option is surgery. The tumors are surgically removed. When a tumor has developed too far into an organ surgery is used to remove as much of the malignant growth as possible to make other treatments more effective.
Mesothelioma’s aggressive nature makes it necessary to utilize all three treatments. Depending on the patient’s circumstances the treatments are either done simultaneously or in a logical succession. Alternative care is also added onto the treatment plan. Many alternative options are concerned with strengthening a patient’s immune system. Since the treatments are taxing to the human body it is vital to assist and fortify it’s ability to protect and repair itself.
Among patients who have Mesotheliama those who have been leading a healthy lifestyle have a more favorable prognosis. People who have not excessively indulged in alcohol, those who exercise regularly and avoid fatty or sugary food will respond to treatment better.
The logic behind this is simple. Alcoholics will have a compromised liver. Respiratory diseases will be common in smokers. Obesity causes hypertension and impaired cardiac function. All of these will be additional problems during the course of treatment. Pre-existing illnesses will contribute to postoperative complications like pneumonia and wound infections.
A strong support system
Patients who have a positive outlook despite their dire circumstances will cope better with the physical and emotional stress of treatment. This may sound impossible but a positive outlook is usually caused by the presence of a support system that includes family and friends. The visible presence of love and a show of faith in the patient’s strength and ability to survive will have a positive impact.