From the blog

Mesothelioma prognosis remains poor

Published: January 25, 2016

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer, killing more than 3,000 people each year in the United States. Unlike many diseases, mesothelioma is wholly preventable because it’s only caused by asbestos exposure. After diagnosis, patients typically live around one year.

When mesothelioma presents itself, 90 percent of patients experience chest pain and/or shortness of breath. More than 80 percent have a build up of fluid in the lungs. Other symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, weakness and fever. In many cases, no symptoms are present and the cancer is found during physical examination or x-ray.

Because these mesothelioma symptoms may not appear or mirror other illnesses, most patients don’t understand the full implications of the disease until it’s too late. At diagnosis, the disease has progressed too far and while treatments may prolong the life, there is way to cure mesothelioma.

Recently, a group of researchers studied survival rates among 114 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). More than 60 percent of all mesothelioma cases are pleural. The study determined the median survival rate was 345 days, right around the average prognosis. Other significant findings included:

  • Sarcomatoid malignant pleural mesothelioma had a mean survival of 125 days, much lower than the average
  • Biphasic MPM was 334 days
  • Epithelioid MPM was 412 days
  • Those who refused chemotherapy experienced a significantly poorer prognosis

The main take away is despite new treatments and more studies, the mesothelioma prognosis remains the same. Mesothelioma remains a disease with one cause and no cure, and continues to disrupt families and shatter lives due the negligence of asbestos companies and factories.

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