Info About Mesothelioma Prognosis
Before you undergo a prognosis, go prepared to ask the right questions. Learn about treatment options, survival rates and more.
Not every mesothelioma prognosis is the same. Learn about survival rates here.
Smoking and Mesothelioma
Learn the risks about smoking combined with asbestos exposure.
Of all the factors that are taken into consideration when estimating a life expectancy, the current stage of your cancer is often the most influential.
“Stages” are how doctors break down the advancement timeline of cancers and other serious illnesses. The higher the stage, the more progressed the cancer— thus, the lower the life expectancy.
The form a patient’s mesothelioma takes also affects life expectancy. The types of mesothelioma are:
- Found in the lungs, this is the most common form of mesothelioma
- Found in the abdomen, this is the second-most common form
Cell types that make up a mesothelioma tumor will react differently to treatment. Mesothelioma Cell Types include:
- The most common and easiest to treat, 75% of mesothelioma cases are made up of these cells. Patients with epithelial-based tumors can live up to 200 days longer than patients with the other two common types: sarcomatoid and biphasic.
- The most dangerous of the cell types, sarcomatoid cells are highly resistant to treatment. They account for 10-20% of cases and often showcase aggressive growth.
- Biphasic means a tumor is made up of both sarcomatoid and epithelial cells. Prognoses vary, but life expectancy is largely dependent on which cell is most prevalent in the tumor.
Early Stage Pleural Mesothelioma
The types of cell’s that carry the mesothelioma often vary and they play a huge role in helping your oncologist determine your life expectancy. If you have epithelioid cell types it’s likely your prognosis will be longer than if you have sarcomatoid cell types which spread faster.
Individuals who have biphasic cell type have cells that manage to combine both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. While it’s difficult to determine which cells the individual will most strongly resemble, oncologists generally give patients with early stage biphasic pleural mesothelioma a life expectancy that’s in the between the two cell types, about 21 months. As long as the cancer is detected in its early stages, there are multiple treatment options that have successfully extended the lives of patients with mesothelioma.
Late Stage Pleural Mesothelioma
It’s very unusual for pleural mesothelioma to be diagnosed while it’s still in stage 1 or 2. The late diagnosis makes treatment difficult but there have been patients who were diagnosed with the cancer in its later stages and still managed to have a successful curative surgery that drastically extended their lives.
At the time of their diagnosis, most patients with stage pleural mesothelioma that’s in it’s late stages are given a life expectancy of about 11 months or less. If the patient is past their 65th birthday, the average life expectancy drops to 6 months.
Patients with late stage patients with epithelioid pleural mesothelioma but who are otherwise healthy often experience a positive reaction to treatments, including palliative surgery. Often surprising their doctors by living a great deal longer than originally anticipated.
Right now, oncologists haven’t found a good system for determining the stages of peritoneal mesothelioma. Since it’s not possible to stage this type cancer, oncologists rely on whether or not the cancer has gone metastic to determine the patient’s life expectancy. If the tumors are localized, the oncologist considers the patient to be in the early stages. Nearly all patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma are given a life expectancy of 12 months.
Getting told that they are only expected to live for 12 months can be quite a blow, but the patient needs to remember that not all hope is lost. Depending on age, overall health, and the type of treatment they choose, it’s possible for the patient to enjoy a long life despite the peritoneal mesothelioma.
Leading expert in the field of peritoneal mesothelioma, developed a treatment called cytoreductive surgery which has changed the lives of patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma. After the surgery, which is often combined with chemotherapy or radiation treatment, many patients enjoy a life expectancy of 5 years or longer, especially if they have an epithelioid cell type.
Some studies that have been conducted on patients who underwent Dr. Sugarbaker’s cytoreductive surgery indicated that a large number of patients extended their lives by 79 months
To learn more about mesothelioma specialists and their treatments check out our interactive Mesothelioma Doctor Map. We’ve developed a free Doctor Match program that’s designed to help you located a doctor that will provide you with the best mesothelioma treatment.