Asbestos Cancer Online & Mesothelioma Information Online - 4 Stages of Cancer, Symptoms,

Long asbestos fibre exposure results in several health problems, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma cancer

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mesothelioma and Life Expectancy By Joseph Devine

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, usually caused by exposure to asbestos. When an individual is diagnosed with the disease, there are many questions which will invariably go through their mind. Perhaps the most important one involves the patient's prognosis. That is, what is the life expectancy for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma?

As with any form of cancer, the survival rate for this condition is heavily dependent on how early it is diagnosed. If the disease is already in an advanced state when it is first detected, it will require far more aggressive treatment, with a reduced chance of success.

Unfortunately, the survival rate for mesothelioma has historically been rather low. Many patients do not survive longer than one year after diagnosis. The disease has often spread significantly before it is diagnosed, making it that much more difficult to treat. This is due to the fact that an individual exposed to asbestos can live for decades before any noticeable symptoms present themselves.

In addition, patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are often 55 years of age or older, and may have other medical conditions which complicate their treatment.

The good news is that there are many long-term survivors of mesothelioma, some of whom have lived a decade or more following diagnosis. Some doctors believe these patients survive longer not because of their particular treatment method, but because of other health characteristics specific to the individual. In general, healthier patients with no other existing medical conditions are more likely to survive longer than those with additional diseases and afflictions.

In terms of raw numbers, statistics show that about 10 percent of individuals with mesothelioma live for at least five years after being diagnosed. About 40 percent of those diagnosed survive for at least one year. These numbers are significantly higher than they were just 20 years ago, giving hope to doctors and patients alike.

A few of the other factors that affect survival rates include the specific type of mesothelioma with which an individual is diagnosed, the size and location of their tumor, and whether or not the patient is a smoker. These factors are in addition to the patient's age, any existing medical conditions they may have, and severity of the cancer itself.

For more information on life expectancy and treatment options, visit the mesothelioma attorneys at

Joseph Devine

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