Mesothelioma is a very serious and deadly type of cancer. Primarily caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers, mesothelioma is often very advanced by the time that it is diagnosed.
Sadly, the majority of people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma find out after the cancer has already spread, making it very difficult to treat. It is rare for mesothelioma to be cured.
The following reviews the prognosis for mesothelioma, including the stages of mesothelioma and treatment options. If you are diagnosed with this cancer type, or if you lose a loved one to mesothelioma, please contact me for a free consultation to learn about options for recovering compensation.The Stages of Mesothelioma
There are four stages of cancer, beginning with stage I, in which the cancer is localized, and ending with stage IV, in which the cancer is advanced. Cancer.gov explains the four stages of mesothelioma, summarized as:
- Stage I. When mesothelioma is in stage I, it is easiest to treat as the cancer is localized, meaning that it is not yet found on the lining of tissue that covers the lung.
- Stage II. By the time mesothelioma reaches stage II, it is considered advanced. At stage II of mesothelioma, cancer is found in either (or both) the lung tissue and the diaphragm. At this point, the cancer may also have spread to the lining the covers the diaphragm, the lining of the chest wall, and the lining of the chest cavity between the lung.
- Stage III. By stage III, the cancer has spread not only to the areas above, but is not also found in the lymph nodes, or in the tissues of the chest wall, the sac around the heart, or the fat found between the lungs.
- Stage IV. Stage IV is the most advanced stage of mesothelioma. In stage IV, cancer has spread to more distant parts of the body, such as the brain or the prostate. At this point, cancer cannot be removed surgically, and is fatal.
Cancer.org reports that the relative five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is between five and 10 percent. Those who are diagnosed at a younger age have a greater chance of survival.Treatment & Prognosis
As stated above, mesothelioma is a very aggressive type of cancer, meaning that it spreads rapidly and is very difficult to treat. In most cases, the cancer is untreatable, although there are a number of treatment options that people suffering from mesothelioma can try. These treatment options include surgery to remove cancerous tissues, the lung, or fluids in the chest cavity; chemotherapy; radiation therapy; targeted therapy; gene therapy; and biological therapy. The latter three treatment options are typically offered through clinical trials - these treatments can be read about in more detail at MayoClinic.org or discussed with your doctor. Other treatment options are considered alternative medicine, and are often used for help coping with the cancer or as remedial therapies. These include things such as acupuncture, breath and pain training, and relaxation exercises. In many cases, exploring coping therapies and support resources can be very helpful aftering being diagnosed with mesothelioma, particularly when the cancer is advanced.What Should I Do If I Am Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you probably have a lot of questions about what will happen next. All medical questions should be directed to your doctor or a specialist, who can help you to understand your prognosis, and viable treatment options available.
In addition to your health and wellbeing, you probably also have questions about how you will pay for your medical bills, what you will do to when you are unable to work, and how your family will get by. These questions can be scary, and leave you anxious and worried.
If your mesothelioma was caused by a preventable factor and another party’s negligence - such as the failure of a manufacturer to warn of the presence of asbestos in its product - you may be able to file a claim for compensation. A civil suit can help you to recover the damages you need to afford your health bills, pay for your cost of living, and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento mesothelioma lawyer. If you or a family member is suffering from mesothelioma, or if you have recently lost a family member to this disease, please call me right away at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice. You may also reach me toll free at (800) 404-5400. Or, simply contact me by way of this online form.
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Photo at top of page attribution: Wikimedia Commons – by Stevenfruitsmaak