Mesothelioma is deadly cancer related to asbestos and it is caused by inhaling asbestos fibres and affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart. As you have already read about mesothelioma cancer, its types, causes and symptoms in our previous article: Mesothelioma Cancer: Slow & Silent Killer Disease if not then click on the link and aware yourself about mesothelioma cancer. Now let’s move on and today in our health blog we will discuss the main stages of Mesothelioma and what is the life expectancy of the patient. The life expectancy of each patient depends on several factors and overall health of patient the specific cell type of their cancer play important roles in curing disease.
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected period of a mesothelioma patient and describes how much he can survive with or without treatment. An individual’s life expectancy is based on a variety of factors, such as cell type, age, location, stage of cancer and overall health of the patient. Life expectancy may also change over time depending on the effectiveness of treatment and how much progress is marked in patient case. The average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is 12 to 21 months.
But it also fluctuates with the types of mesothelioma. Thus it is important for patients that he should discuss the case with a doctor for a better understanding of his/her life expectancy and treatment options. Life expectancy declines about 6 to 8 months if the patient is not taking any treatment. There are numerous factors which affect the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient.
Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Life expectancy in case of a mesothelioma patient is influenced by many factors that cannot be controlled which include the stage of mesothelioma and patient age at the time of diagnosis. Some factors are controllable such as undergoing mesothelioma treatments and increasing overall health and changing lifestyle choices. Basic factors that affect mesothelioma life expectancy include:
- Stage and type of Cancer and growth of the tumour cells.
- Patient gender, age, lifestyle, overall health and blood characteristics.
- The treatments, therapies and clinical trials.
Life expectancy is an important part of diagnosis and treatment, which is the overall outlook of how mesothelioma will affect body and life span of the patient. Many other factors can determine a patient’s life expectancy. Factors that can decrease the life expectancy of patients include:
- When a Patient Has a Smoking History: Cigarette smokers who are exposed to asbestos are approximately 50 to 70 % more prone to develop asbestos-related lung cancer.
- Any Change in Count of White Blood Cells: White blood cell count reveals the body fighting against an internal disease or blood cancer, which can make mesothelioma more difficult to operate.
- Low Haemoglobin Level: Low haemoglobin levels can indicate anaemia. Many patients face this condition when experiencing chemotherapy.
- Increased Platelet Count: A specific type of increase in blood platelet count is referred to as Secondary Thrombosis. It is caused by an infection in the body which is a common, but critical in case of cancer patients.
Life Expectancy also depends on which stage the mesothelioma patient is. So now we will discuss the stages of mesothelioma and what is the life expectancy of the patient in every stage.
Stages of Mesothelioma
Staging is an important part of concluding the right treatment required for mesothelioma. In the early stages of mesothelioma cancer cells are restricted to one position but till the last stage, it starts spreading throughout the lining of an organ. Based on the size and location of the tumour formation in lungs, heart abdominal portion, mesothelioma is classified into 4 stages.
Stage 1: Development of Mesothelioma
In this stage of mesothelioma, cancer is confined to the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Symptoms of stage 1 mesothelioma are moderate or nonexistent as the disease is in the earliest stage. In this stage, the cancer cells respond to all types of treatment and thus the diagnosis for Stage 1 is better than later stages. As the cancer cells are confined, surgery done at this stage is very effective. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation recommended in this stage. The survival rate is higher and life expectancy of the patient in this stage is 22.2 months.
Stage 2: Expansion of Cancer Cells
In this stage, mesothelioma cells have started expanding to lymph nodes ( in case of pleural mesothelioma). In Stage 2, pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients can benefit from multimodal treatment that combines surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They must be healthy enough to undergo an aggressive treatment plan.
Tumours have spread from the original location and moved into adjacent structures. The median life expectancy of a patient at stage 2 is 19 months or less and the survival rate is about 38%.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Symptoms includes
- Chronic coughing
- Slight breathing issues
- Minor chest pain
Stage 3: Surgery is the Only Option
Cancer has spread into the regional lymph nodes. Surgery is an option in select circumstances. The patient’s median life expectancy in stage 3 is 17.9 months with surgical treatment. In stage 3 mesothelioma, tumours have spread into tissues, organs or lymph nodes around cancer’s original site. Mesothelioma is most frequently caught in stage 3 because this is when most symptoms arise.
Stage 4: End Stage Mesothelioma
Stage 4 mesothelioma is also known as late-stage mesothelioma. Tumours have spread into different organs. Life expectancy at this stage is 14.9 months. This is the most advanced and difficult stage of medication because treatment options cannot remove all cancer cells. Some patients with stage 4 disease are too weak for such aggressive surgeries.
The mesothelioma survival rate is defined as the percentage of people who live for a given period following diagnosis. The 1-year survival rate for pleural mesothelioma is 73%, which speaks to the aggressive nature of the disease. Similarly, only about 12% of pleural mesothelioma patients survive for five years following diagnosis. A patient’s age, gender and stage of cancer impact survival rates. The best way to improve mesothelioma survival rates is through treatment. Survival rates may vary due to type, age of patient and treatment, among other factors.
Now, you have well understood about the stages of mesothelioma, the life expectancy of the patient and survival rate in each case. It is better to consult a doctor and go through proper treatment to increase your life span.