Reasons For Negative Mesothelioma Prognosis

By Heidi Wingrain

Mesothelioma prognosis comes as a shocking revelation to the victims and family members, due to wide and varied reasons. A rare form of cancer, mesothelioma infects the protective covering of the internal organs, called mesothelium. Over-exposure to asbestos results in the mesothelium getting affected. People become exposed to asbestos mostly at their work places, where the material is used. Those who are staying near asbestos mines also fall victims of the disease. But the impact of the infection would be different in different persons. It depends on the stage of cancer at the time of detection, the age and health of the infected person and the ability of the body to respond to treatment procedures.

Mesothelioma prognosis becomes a nightmare for the victim since the disease lies dormant for many years, even fifty or more, before the symptoms appear. By that time the infection must have reached the important internal organs like heart, abdomen or lungs. Mesothelioma can be categorized into four stages. The first two stages are comparatively less dangerous and easy to cure. However the prospects of a cure is almost nil in the third and fourth stages. Mostly mesothelioma detection takes place when the patient goes to the doctor for some other physical problems.

Secondly, being a rare cancer, many cancer centers and cancer specialists do not possess the required expertise to treat mesothelioma. Researches are still on to find a successful treatment for advanced mesothelioma. For stage III and IV, presently, the emphasis is only to alleviate pain and provide a better and comfortable environment for the patient.

Mesothelioma cancer is of three types - the pleural, the peritoneal and the pericardial. The most commonly found one is the pleural type, though it can be cured easily. Different treatment procedures like chemotherapy, surgery and radiation are used to cure the infection affecting the protective lining of the lungs. The second type affects the abdominal cavities. This is called peritoneal mesothelioma and is more dangerous. The third type affects the heart region and is definitely fatal. This is known as pericardial mesothelioma. Another problem associated with the disease is that doctors tend to diagnose the type of infection wrongly increasing the number of fatalities.

Mesothelioma prognosis has become better these days due to the advent of several modern treatments like gene therapy, multimodality treatment, photodynamic therapy etc. But still, most mesothelioma patients get their lives extended by only several weeks to five years depending on the state and type of the cancer affecting him or her. - 30540

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