What to Expect from a Mesothelioma Prognosis
It is important to understand that each individual patient’s mesothelioma prognosis can very be different from the prognosis given to another, as it is dependent upon several factors that are related both to the individual cancer and to the individual patient in each case. After receiving a certain diagnosis, which occurs via the affirmative results of a tissue or fluid biopsy, your doctor will explain the prognosis, or predicted outcome, of your condition-a projection that is based largely on statistical data from cases of patients who are clinically similar to you.
Factors Affecting Individual Prognosis
Some of the chief individualized factors that can affect a patient’s prognosis include: the location, stage and cell type of the cancer. In general, pleural mesothelioma tends to be slightly easier to treat than the peritoneal and pericardial varieties; early-stage cancer is significantly more responsive to treatment than later-stage cancer; and epithelial cell mesothelioma is less aggressive than both sacromatoid and biphasic, respectively.
The patient’s overall state of physical health is also quite important in predicting the course of the cancer and giving an accurate mesothelioma prognosis. The better one’s general health, the better he or she can be expected to tolerate and respond to treatment-lending to a somewhat improved prognosis. Some simple demographic factors are believed to play a role as well. Typically, younger patients (under the age of 70) and female patients are inclined to receive more favorable prognoses.
General Statistic-Derived Prognoses
The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma, in general, is poor. All forms are considered terminal, and there is currently no confirmed cure for cancer of any type. Many types of cancer are routinely detected early and therefore responsive to treatment-resulting in high rates of remission. Mesothelioma is an exceptionally difficult form of cancer to treat-largely because of the diagnostic difficulties and unusually long latency period that make early-stage diagnosis a rarity-resulting in very poor rates of remission.
The average mesothelioma prognosis remains around one year-with the majority of patients falling somewhere between the 4- and 24-month range. Around 25 percent of mesothelioma victims make it to the 36-month mark, but the survival rates drop steeply after that. Statistics show that less than 10 percent of victims are still alive five years after diagnosis. However, within that small percentage of “survivors”, there are any notable cases of lasting remission-some as long as 20 or more years, post-diagnosis.