Mesothelioma cancer is a difficult cancer to treat. Malignant mesothelioma patients usually survive 9 – 14 months after being diagnosed, and because its a form of cancer that is usually left untreated for many years, it is often too advanced for surgery. About 20% to 40% of adult males within the United States have worked in occupations t hat may have entailed exposure to asbestos, and of that percent roughly 1% will result in death. There is no cure. Chemotherapy or radiation may be used to reduce symptoms. Combining certain chemotherapy drugs may help decrease symptoms and improve survival, but it will not cure the cancer.
Patients may want to consider participating in a clinical trial (test of new treatments), which may give you more treatment options.
Pain relief, oxygen, and other supportive treatments may also help relieve symptoms.
For patients who do have cancer, the outcome will depend on the type of cancer you have, how advanced an individuals cancer is when it is diagnosed, and what stage of mesothelioma you are in; all information which should be provided by your doctor. Stage is just as important for Mesothelioma as it is for other cancers, but finding the statistics is more difficult to do. This is because Mesothelioma is not very common, (although incidences are increasing) and it is usually diagnosed when it is advanced, as people may not have symptoms early on and don’t report them to the doctor.
However, there is constant research to improve the treatment for this form of cancer. More recent studies indicate that patients with Mesothelioma might, in some instances, have a better outlook than originally believed. It is also important to note that statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No patients are exactly alike and response to treatment also varies from one person to another. The potential for any treatment to be successful depends on a variety of factors including overall health and age of the patient, type of tumor, size of tumor, location of tumor and involvement of the lymph system.