“How long will I live?” This is one of the most important questions on the mind of any person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any form of cancer. It is impossible to say with any certainty just how long a patient may live after his or her diagnosis because the disease is so unpredictable. Any of a number of factors may influence the prognosis: the patient’s age, overall health, the location of any tumors, the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Even in cases where it seems a patient has a good prognosis, the disease may take a turn for the worse. The reverse is also true: a patient with a poor prognosis may live far longer than expected.
The following information is meant to provide an overall view of survival rates to help one get a better idea of what may occur. It is best to talk to your oncologist about your particular case. You can discuss your legal options and rights with a mesothelioma attorney at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC; we can advise you of potential sources of compensation and medical care to get the treatment you need.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, two factors that contribute to its generally poor prognosis. It also has a long latency period, meaning it is generally in its advanced stages when a patient begins experiencing symptoms and it is finally diagnosed. The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers the following information on mesothelioma survival rates:
In the medical literature, average survival times for people with mesothelioma have ranged between 4 and 18 months, depending on the study. But some people live much longer. Between 5% and 10% of people with mesothelioma live at least 5 years after being diagnosed. These numbers tend to be better for people diagnosed at a younger age.
What factors may indicate a better prognosis?
Generally speaking, the prognosis will be better for a patient who has tumors that can be surgically removed, as opposed to a patient whose cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. Some of the factors that have indicated a better prognosis are:
- Little interruption in being able to perform day-to-day activities
- Younger patients
- Chest pain not present as a symptom
- Epithelial sub-type of mesothelioma
- No significant weight loss
- Normal red blood cell, white blood cell and blood platelet counts
- Normal levels of LDH in the blood
As with all forms of cancer, an early diagnosis is key to a more favorable prognosis. With mesothelioma’s long latency period, unfortunately, this is often simply impossible. A person who is exposed to asbestos may not experience any symptoms for decades, sometimes as long as 50 years after initial exposure. When the person finally seeks medical care, it may be too late for him or her to have a chance at surviving longer than a year or two.
Taking Legal Action with a Mesothelioma Lawyer
The poor outlook of most mesothelioma cases makes it all the more important to seek justice and financial compensation on behalf of those who are suffering and those who have already lost loved ones to this deadly disease. Treatment is expensive and may cause debilitating side effects. Instead of worrying about how to pay for treatment or provide for loved ones, mesothelioma patients should focus on their treatment and spending time with their friends and family members.
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC represents mesothelioma victims across the United States. We have offices located across the country to help clients in every state and dedicated to asbestos litigation. With our resources and skill, we can handle these complex matters in house, unlike many other firms that simply advertise to sign clients up and then refer them to other, more qualified firms. We are ready to fight for you – contact a mesothelioma lawyer today for a free and strictly confidential consultation.