Mesothelioma is a lung cancer that could severely shorten your life span. Without treatment, some patients only live for six more months after diagnosis. Still, some mesothelioma patients manage to live for significantly longer.
According to The Cleveland Clinic, the prospects for a mesothelioma patient to live for one or more years following a diagnosis depend on various factors.
The type of mesothelioma
Since mesothelioma comes in different forms, simply learning that you have it does not tell you whether or not you can improve your condition. You should find out what type you have. For instance, epithelioid mesothelioma is the easiest form for doctors to treat.
By contrast, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the toughest type to treat because it grows at a faster rate. Still, this is the least common form of mesothelioma since only 10% of mesothelioma cases involve it.
The stage of the cancer
As with other forms of cancer, doctors measure mesothelioma through one of four stages. Stage 1 cancer is the earliest stage, so it is possible for doctors to rid you of the cancer. Through successive stages, the cancer becomes more difficult to treat.
By the time cancer gets to Stage 4, the cancer has already spread into other organs. By this point, the cancer may be terminal. While treatments may arrest or reverse the progress, sometimes doctors can do little more than offer palliative care to ease the pain and suffering of a patient before death.
Other factors such as the health of the patient could affect whether mesothelioma treatments are effective. So even if you receive the serious news that you have mesothelioma, there may be options available to help prolong your life.