Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Prognosis for Asbestos Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of rare cancer that is characterized by a very long latency period. This means that the disease develops over the years; slowly without being detected. This cancer has been linked to the exposure of asbestos. Asbestos was a common raw material used mainly in the construction industry and today, this natural substance is still used in some parts of the world. When one has been diagnosed with the cancer, the health care provider will provide a prognosis as well. In this light, a mesothelioma prognosis is the possible outcome of the condition. Over the years, prognosis of this cancer has been somewhat grim owing to the fact that the disease is only detected when it has advanced.

Mesothelioma prognosis is not always grim and it really depends on the individual patient. Additionally, prognosis will also be determined by a set of factors that will be discussed below. First though, it is good to mention that mesothelioma is a cancer that manifests in the lining or cavity of the chest or abdomen. In rare cases, it can affect the heart cavity as well. As a matter of caution, it is pivotal for people to avoid exposure to asbestos and getting relevant information will help you keep the problem at bay; prevention is always better than cure. Those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma need to know that the following factors will determine the prognosis or outcome of the disease.

Elements that determine prognosis

A mesothelioma prognosis will be determined by the type suffered. This diseased is categorized in 3 main types. Epithelial mesothelioma is one that affects nearly half of all those who suffer. This type records the highest survival rate compared to the other 2 types. Another factor that will influence prognosis is the location in which the cancer affects. As hinted above, it can affect the chest area, abdomen as well as the heart cells. When the disease occurs in the lungs, patients will have a higher survival rate as statistics suggest. It is also good to mention that over 80% of all cases of mesothelioma affect the lungs or chest cavity.

The other element that will determine mesothelioma prognosis is the stage of the disease. The early stages like with all cancers present a better chance for the disease to be treated effectively. However, when the cancer has developed and spread to other organs, it is hard to treat it accordingly. Unfortunately, mesothelioma does not show any signs until it has reached an advanced stage. However, it is important to state that medical experts are working to ensure that early diagnosis of mesothelioma is possible.

Metastasis is another factor that will influence mesothelioma prognosis. Metastasis refers to the spreading of the cancer to other organs. When the disease spreads, the problem is made worse and the prognosis might not be very positive. Other factors that affect the outcome include age, health of patient and their ability to respond to treatment. Doctors will seek to improve the prognosis through various modern treatments among them surgery. All in all, it is important to remain positive even when the prognosis is not so good. Some patients have been observed to survive longer than anticipated owing to their strong will to live and resilience therein. For very advanced mesothelioma, the prognosis may be 2 to 3 years. Treatments available will make the patients comfortable in their fight against the disease.

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