While some patients don’t want to know their chances of survival, there are also others who get an honest mesothelioma prognosis from their doctors. Of course, they may have different reasons for wanting to know. If you are a mesothelioma patient interested in the same thing, then you have the right to know. Do keep in mind though that there are various prognosis sources. Here are some important points you should consider when reading about asbestos cancer prognosis.
The Sources of Data – The first thing you should understand is where prognosis data comes from. Real prognosis information is based form statistical data. Researchers look into different mesothelioma cases through clinical studies to get average figures. This may mean that genuine prognosis information may be true for a large number of patients. This does not mean though that the information is always true.
Mesothelioma is different from other forms of cancer. This is because a lot of different factors can affect mesothelioma. Some of these include your overall health, treatments taken, time when treatment began, mesothelioma type and severity of the condition. It is therefore important not to view prognosis information as absolutely true in your case.
Difficulties with Prognosis
It may be difficult to arrive at statistical or personal mesothelioma prognosis. This is because mesothelioma itself is not like many other forms of cancer. The condition is rare. Asbestos exposure, which is the primary risk factor linked to this condition is not always experienced by a lot of people. Those who also have the condition may not immediately seek doctors’ assistance for diagnosis and treatment. The symptoms do not obviously point to the condition and may even mimic the symptoms of other diseases.
What do statistics say? Since patients are often diagnosed late, the prognosis for many patients is not good. A lot of patients are told that they can expect to live for only less than a year. Again, there are exceptions to this prognosis. There have been personal accounts of patients who have survived for more than five years. Some even live up to ten years after diagnosis.
The common thing about mesothelioma and other forms of cancer is that its early detection if crucial. Early diagnosis means early treatment and higher chances of survival. Since early diagnosis is not often made due to the lack of unique symptoms, you may not even think that a doctor’s visit is necessary. Your only clue that may suggest that you may need medical monitoring is asbestos exposure. This is only true however for individuals who work closely with asbestos. Patients who do not handle asbestos on a regular basis may not even remember or know that they have been exposed to asbestos.
The individual’s treatment option can also affect the prognosis. Depending on your overall health, the stage of your disease and your doctor’s evaluation, you may have to undergo one or two cancer treatment methods. Like other forms of cancer, mesothelioma may be treated through chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy.
Keep in mind that mesothelioma prognosis may not be definite and accurate. Although prognosis information can provide you with valuable insight about the disease, there is no reason to believe that you absolutely have no hope of surviving beyond a year.