Learn more about Mesothelioma, its symptoms, possible causes, treatment and more. In addition, we will report Mesothelioma survival rate. Check out everything below.
What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer, which affects mesothelium, a thin tissue that covers the internal organs of our body. Mesothelioma can be found in several types, and its variations are related to where it is located, the most common cases are the pleural, this is when the tumor is located in the pleura of the lungs, and the peritoneal, which is located in the organs of the lungs. abdominal region, the symptoms of this cancer also depend on its location.
Usually Mesothelioma develops very fast, so the diagnosis is usually made when the disease is already at an advanced stage, this makes treatment difficult, as it is more effective if done with an earlier diagnosis. Treatment consists of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and / or surgery.
Signs and symptoms
The first symptoms of Mesothelioma are difficult to understand as a symptom of the disease, as they are not specific, so they can often be ignored or confused with symptoms of other diseases, this directly interferes with the survival rate of Mesothelioma. Most people with Mesothelioma usually experience symptoms a few months before the disease is diagnosed.
See below the symptoms that can be presented for each type of disease:
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
- Pain in the back or on the side of the chest;
- Shortness of breathe;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Swelling in the face and arms.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Abdominal pain;
- Swelling in the abdomen;
- Nausea and vomiting;
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma
- Chest pain;
- Irregular heart rhythm;
- Heart murmur;
- Shortness of breathe.
General symptoms of Mesothelioma
- Weight loss;
- Blood clots;
- Loss of appetite.
These signs and symptoms, in addition to being caused by Mesothelioma, are also frequently caused by other diseases. Still, if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have been exposed to asbestos, it is extremely important to see a doctor to properly diagnose the cause and, if necessary, start treatment.
As with other types of cancer, one of the causes of Mesothelioma may be related to mutations in cellular DNA, causing cells to multiply uncontrollably, resulting in a tumor. It is worth mentioning that asbestosis sufferers are more susceptible to suffering from Mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a disease that affects the respiratory system, it is caused by inhaling dust containing asbestos, with this, it occurs mostly in people who work for a long time exposed to asbestos.
The diagnosis consists of a physical examination performed by the doctor, and also using imaging tests, such as computed tomography and X-ray. Once this is done, depending on the results of the first exams, the doctor can request a biopsy, to collect a small piece of tissue as a sample, which will be used in an analysis in the laboratory, and also an exam called a PET scan, it allows checking the current state of the tumor and whether there is metastasis.
The type of treatment depends on the location of the Mesothelioma, as well as the stage at which the cancer is and the patient’s state of health. Often, cancers of this type are difficult to treat because, when they are diagnosed, they are usually at an advanced stage.
There are cases, which the doctor may recommend to perform surgery, this can be a cure for the disease, if it has not spread to more parts of the body. The doctor can still make a recommendation to carry out chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which can be done before surgery, this facilitates the removal of the tumor, and / or after surgery, to prevent the tumor from coming back.
What is the survival rate of Mesothelioma
The survival rate is used by doctors as a standard for discussing the prognosis of a patient who has cancer. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live for at least 5 years after the diagnosis of the disease. In fact, it is not possible to predict for sure how long each patient will live, but it helps to get an idea of how likely the treatment is to work.
The prognosis statistics for a certain type and stage of cancer are given as survival rates. For example, the 5-year survival rate is equivalent to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer. A survival rate of 50% in 5 years, that is to say, about 50 patients in every 100 have, on average, 50% survival after 5 years of diagnosis. It is worth mentioning that part of these patients live up to 5 years after diagnosis.
Survival rates are based on the past results of a high number of patients who have had the disease, making it impossible to predict what will happen to each individual patient. It has a number of limitations to keep in mind, such as:
- The survival rates reported below are the most current that are available. But 5-year survival rates were obtained from patients who were evaluated and treated at least 5 years ago. However, there have been improvements in treatment techniques, which result in a prognosis that may be more favorable for patients diagnosed and treated for mesothelioma today.
- These statistics are given based on the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.
- The prognosis for patients with Mesothelioma varies depending on the stage of the disease. In general, survival rates appear mostly for patients who have cancer at an early stage. But there are other factors that can interfere with a patient’s prognosis, such as the patient’s age and health status, as well as the disease response to treatment.
Only the doctor, who is monitoring your case, can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you.
The figures reported below were extracted from thousands of patients spread across the world who were diagnosed with Mesothelioma between 2000 and 2013. These data are only for Mesothelioma that started in the pleura (the most common place for Mesothelioma).
Survival rates for 2 years and 5 years, per stage, for Mesothelioma:
- The survival rate for stage IA is 46% in 2 years and 16% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IB is 41% in 2 years and 13% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage II is 38% in 2 years and 10% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IIIA is 30% in 2 years and 8% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IIIB is 26% in 2 years and 5% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IV is 17% in 2 years and 1% in 5 years.
It is worth remembering that survival rates are only estimates and do not serve to predict what can happen to a patient individually. Talk to the doctor who accompanies you, to better understand how the statistics can apply to your specific case.