The prognosis for those with mesothelioma is, unfortunately, very poor. This is partly to do with the fact that, when it is diagnosed, it’s usually at a very late stage, meaning that most treatments are likely to be unsuccessful. There’s also the issue of a lack of data. Mesothelioma is still rare, although the incidence rate is steadily rising, so the number of patients who can be followed after treatment is minimal, creating a gap in the statistics available for survival rates. According to Cancer Research UK, there are no reliable five year survival rates for the disease.
It seems the general advice to patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is a survival rate of about a year. However, there are some oncologists, working in hospitals that specialise only in treating these kinds of cancers, who report much better survival rates. They’ve also found that those who are able to have the tumours removed surgically have a better long-term prognosis.
The current treatments processes result in more than three out of 10 male patients and four out of ten females still being alive one year later. For longer term statistics, we have to visit the USA, who can report that about two out of ten people will survive for two years following diagnosis and only eight out of 100 will still be alive five years later.
What About Clinical Trials?
Depending on the prognosis given, patients may decide that trying out a new treatment might be worth it. Researchers are always on the lookout for people to participate in the testing of new drugs and, if you’ve been given a prognosis of only a couple of months, you could receive a fantastic new treatment. It’s always worth thinking about.
You can search through the list of clinical trials currently running in the UK on Cancer Research UKs website.
Living With Mesothelioma
Although they are not cured, there are a number of people who are living with mesothelioma. Some have lasted for many years, including Paul Kraus, who’s been living with a diagnosis of mesothelioma for over 16 years. If you’d like to find out more about how to survive with mesothelioma – Mesothelioma Survivors is a good place to start.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s likely that you have a whole host of queries about it, many of which cannot be answered by health care professionals. Understanding how mesothelioma makes a person feel emotionally can only really be answered by those who are living through it. That’s why forums are so important as places to visit for support from others who know exactly how you are feeling.
Most local hospitals will have a support group for sufferers, which can often act a great starting point, but there are also lots of support groups and forums online too, such as the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK. These can help put you in touch with survivors all over the country, and the wider world, so you can ask those questions that only other sufferers will know the answer to.