Many of us have lost a loved one or has a dear one suffering from the deadly disease of cancer. Experts say most cancers are incurable, but patients can manage their condition with early diagnosis and proper treatment. It adds up to their lives and improves quality. In cancers, body cells grow exponentially, occurring in almost any part of the human body. Human bodies have a natural phenomenon of forming cells; sometimes, this natural orderly process breaks down. It results in the growth of abnormal cells grow and can spread to other body parts. Mesothelioma is a cancer type, and so far, medical experts have been unable to find its cure.
Mesothelioma is a deadly tumor that occurs in the thin membrane covering the body’s internal parts. Asbestos, a natural fibrous material, is the primary cause of mesothelioma occurrence. Asbestos does not break down and is high heat resistant. People coming in contact with asbestos often inhale thin particles that get stuck in the sensitive tissue, causing mesothelioma. The human body cannot break its fibers down. Thus, they stay in the membrane, causing inflammation and irritation, damaging cells and DNA.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is of four types, out of which two of them are common. Peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma are common forms of mesothelioma. In contrast, pericardial and testicular mesothelioma rarely occurs. Mesothelioma generally starts developing slowly without showing any signs. When it grows and presses surrounding tissues, it starts showing symptoms. Most symptoms of this deadly disease are common health issues, and doctors often confuse them with other mild health problems. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are sudden weight loss and fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, coughing, fluid in the lungs, and pain in the lower back and rib area.
On the other hand, peritoneal mesothelioma appears in the lining covering the abdomen. Patients have abdominal pain, night sweats, nausea, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Doctors often consider these health issues as some abdominal problems and usually diagnose mesothelioma later.
Not many people suffer from pericardial mesothelioma, which develops in the lining covering a heart. Chest pain, fever, murmur, night sweats, heart palpitation, difficulty in breathing, and shortness of breath are the common symptoms. Another rare cancer is testicular mesothelioma, which develops in the tissues covering the testes. Its symptoms are not unique, and doctors often fail to diagnose it until the later stage. Generally, medical experts diagnose testicular mesothelioma after performing a biopsy.
Life Expectancy for Mesothelioma
Medical experts use terms like life expectancy, survival rate, or life span to describe the prognosis of patients. The tumor size of mesothelioma helps doctors devise a treatment course that can improve and add years to patients’ lives. The life expectancy of mesothelioma patients depends on various factors, but the cancer stage is the most impactful. Other factors include patients’ age, cancer type, overall health, and patients’ immunity. Doctors use their skills and techniques to draw expectations, but every cancer patient’s journey is unique. Since every individual has a different combination of the factors of life expectancy thus, their journey will be unlike others. Some key elements, such as age and disease stage, determine the life expectancy of mesothelioma patients. However, modifying lifestyles, choosing treatment combinations, and participating in clinical trials are essential and remarkably affect life expectancy. Some treatment plans also help in improving patients’ conditions and enhance their life. Moreover, treatments show instant effects on some patients, and for others, it takes time.
Another significant aspect defining life expectancy is the part of the organ mesothelioma originates.
Pleural mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the thin tissue covering the lungs. Research shows that people with pleural mesothelioma can live up to three years after the surgery. Early diagnosis helps in treating the disease better. Most patients qualify for therapies like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. These can add months or years to life expectancy. Around 75b% of patients with this condition live up to a year after the diagnosis. In contrast, only 23 % live to 2 or 3 years.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
There is less research available on peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients, unfortunately, suffer from late diagnoses. Medical experts consider initial symptoms as abdominal issues. With different treatments, most patients can survive for more than five or six years after diagnosis. Unlike pleural mesothelioma, doctors find it easy to treat peritoneal cancer. At the same time, surgery can improve these patients’ conditions and increase their lifespan.
Pericardial and Testicular Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Pericardial mesothelioma patients show signs that are similar to cardiovascular diseases. Hence, doctors often confuse their conditions, and they end with late diagnoses. It is a rare form of mesothelioma that develops in the membrane covering patients’ hearts. People who have pericardial cancer survive for six to ten months after the diagnosis. The other rare type is testicular mesothelioma, which occurs in the lining covering testes. Testicular mesothelioma patients’ life expectancy is around two years.
Most people are aware of the destructive impact of cancer. They are ready to modify their lifestyles to prevent deadly diseases. For some people, doctors cannot diagnose the cause of the malignant disease. Still, in several cases, medical experts can identify the cause. Similarly, healthcare experts are raising awareness about the different substances that can cause cancer. Mesothelioma develops in the thin lining covering the abdomen, lungs, heart, or testes. Experts say that inhaling asbestos is the primary reason for developing the disease. Preventing the use reduces the chances of getting a malignant tumor. Although, as per rule, asbestos is now banned in construction industries, products that contain 1 % of asbestos are allowed. Sometimes thin fibers of the natural material land on people’s clothes and bodies and or their loved ones inhale them, and that reach a thin layer of tissue covering internal organs. Health experts cannot cure cancer but can devise treatment plans to manage patients’ conditions.