Mesothelioma is a dangerous cancerous tumor caused by asbestos toxicity. Mesothelioma requires rigorous treatments to prevent cancer growth and improve life expectancy. Despite the incredible medications and chemotherapies, the average individual survives for about 14 to 22 years from the date of diagnosis. However, this aggressive cancer is rarely curable, but with the right solutions, it’s possible to delay the worst symptoms and prolong the years ahead.
Numerous specialized doctors worldwide perform surgeries and chemotherapies to tackle mesothelioma tumors. Most doctors define the prognosis of mesothelioma on a scale of “good” to “poor.” Sadly, most of the prognosis is labeled “poor” since it’s a threatening disease. But if you go for the best treatment methods, you’re likely to live longer, reduce the symptoms, and enjoy a comfortable life. Various factors impact the effectiveness of the treatment of mesothelioma. This blog will cover some of the most critical points affecting mesothelioma treatment.
One of the most integral factors that interfere with the benefits of mesothelioma treatment is the patient’s age. Studies reveal that individuals with mesothelioma aged between 60 to 75 years have a 5-year survival rate of 6.7%. On the other hand, patients older than 75 years are often not lucky and have a survival rate of 3.7%. This shows that age determines whether or not the mesothelioma treatment would be helpful. Younger people have a better immune system and can adapt to harsh interventions. Thus, they can effectively off this cancer and enjoy a longer life.
Race and ethnicity are also vital to analyze the survival rates of mesothelioma patients. Research shows that this disease is more common in white people than black people or those who belong to minorities. It’s primarily because people of color are less likely to work in environments with high asbestos exposure. These industries are typically huge, and thus, white people are chosen for such jobs.
Gender is as equally important as the patient’s age and ethnicity. Research reveals that women tend to have better survival rates than men. Peritoneal mesothelioma shows improved survival rates in women after treatment compared to men. It’s partly owed to the differences in the internal anatomy or physiology between both sexes.
Stage of cancer
There are certain stages of mesothelioma that can affect the treatment and prognosis. Stage 1 mesothelioma patients live for about 21 months or more. The survival is more because the cancer is still developing and has not yet spread elsewhere. Stage 2 mesothelioma patients live for 19 months or so. Cancer gets aggressive and begins to spread. However, it hasn’t spread far enough. Stage 3 mesothelioma individuals live for 16 months or longer. At this point, cancer reaches nearby tissues, organs, and lymph nodes, and things have started to get scary. Stage 4 is the advanced form, and most patients live for about 12 months. The cancer spreads to organs and tissues located at a distance, and it’s typically impossible to cure.
Suppose the mesothelioma is diagnosed in Stage 1 or 2. In that case, you might be referred to a surgeon since surgery is the best way to go for long-term survival. Stage 3 and 4 patients cannot be cured through surgery and instead need more advanced treatment techniques.
Another critical factor affecting mesothelioma treatment is the location of the cancerous tumors. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the cells along the lining of the lungs, while peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdominal cells. Individuals with pleural mesothelioma have comparatively better survival chances than peritoneal because the former is relatively easier to treat. The location also relates to treatment. Heated chemotherapy improves the survival rates for peritoneal patients, while it’s not an ideal solution for perineal. It’s because of the nearby tissues and how they’re impacted by chemotherapy.
Mesothelioma cell type
Similar to stages, mesothelioma cell types are also relevant to the prognosis. Mesothelioma is of 3 types: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the least aggressive form of cancer and has the best survival rates. About 50% of mesothelioma cases are epithelioid, making it a common type of asbestos-induced cancer. These patients live for 1 to 2 years after diagnosis. Sarcomatoid is the most aggressive, and patients live for less than a year post-treatment. Biphasic is a mixture of both types’ characteristics. It can be aggressive and non-aggressive, based on which type of cells are in abundance. If there are more epithelioid cells, the patient is in luck, and treatment will be good. If there are more sarcomatoid cells, the life expectancy will drop. These patients usually live for about 12 months.
The treatment options chosen by patients or recommended by doctors also play an integral part in affecting the prognosis. Sometimes, the budget impacts the decision to select the ideal mesothelioma treatment. Chemotherapies and medication can be costly, and if it’s not covered by insurance, patients often opt for cheaper solutions. Moreover, some treatments kill all cancerous cells while others minimize growth. In other words, recovery highly depends on cancer remission. Complete remission is generally impossible, and most patients live for a long time with just partial remission.
Inadequate lifestyle choices often interfere with the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatments. Suppose the patients fail to eat a healthy diet, drink alcohol, or smoke too much. In that case, it can aggravate the condition rather than mitigate it. Natural foods promote better life expectancy, while unhealthy lifestyles may cause early death. It’s also necessary to be mindful of body weight. Research shows that high BMI shows better treatment results than low BMI, particularly following mesothelioma treatment in the lungs.
It is important to get the right treatment at just the perfect time. Patients should also choose their doctors wisely so they can avoid messing up cancerous growths in an already fragile body.