30.9.09

Mesothelioma Prognosis – The science of recovering lives

A brief on Mesothelioma

A whopping 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma is on the rise in United States of America. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and it is an aftereffect of the asbestos exposure. The cancerous cells tend to destroy the mesothelium, which is a protective sac that holds the internal organs of the body. Initially, pleura or peritoneum are affected and then it spreads to the other parts of the body. It is a fatal disease and the survival time of the victim is almost one year from the time of diagnosis depending on the treatment and other contributing factors.

What is mesothelioma prognosis?

Prognosis for mesothelioma is solely dependent on the merit of diagnosis and the treatment. If treatment is provided with much delay then the survival chance of the victim grows slimmer. Then again, survivability depends heavily on factors like treatment, type of mesothelioma as well as patients health and morale. The stage of the disease during diagnosis is the most crucial factor that decides the prognosis and the minimum survival expectancy of the victim. But disappointingly, mesothelioma unlike other cancers is somewhat difficult to stage. This is because the symptoms of mesothelioma are non-specific due to which the cells are already matured at the time of diagnosis.

What are the determining factors that lead to prognosis?

The early detection of the disease is imperative for pursuing any kind of treatment. The location and size of the cancer, response of the cancer to the treatment, the extent to which the cancer has spread, what impression does the cells give under the microscope and the patients age are some of the contributing factors that determine prognosis. It should be pointed out that diagnosis of the disease is not a child’s play. Further more it becomes all the very more difficult because of the deceptive nature of the subtle symptoms of mesothelioma. Like for example, if you are coughing and you might never know that you have contracted the disease unless and until your doctor clarifies it all by providing a mesothelioma prognosis.

Do you know about the mesothelioma treatment options?

Amongst the staging systems the oldest of them all is the Butchart system, based on the extent of mass, primary tumor and segregates the cancer into four stages. The TNM system is a more recent one while the Brigham system is the latest. It uses resectability and lymph node involvement for staging mesothelioma. The traditional kinds of treatments are also prevalent in case of malignant mesothelioma. Radiation therapy exercises high-energy X-rays to eradicate cancer cells while chemotherapy does it through use of drugs. Immunotherapy helps to strengthen the immune system; photodynamic therapy uses light energy while the genetic therapy resurrects the inherent genetic defects of the patient to fight the disease.

The process of removing fluid from the chest is known as thoracentesis while fluid reduction from the abdomen is known as paracentesis. Conventional surgeries and effective drugs like L-NDDP or Platar, Endostatin and Lovastatin somewhat come to the rescue of the victims of mesothelioma. The surgical removal of a part of the chest or the abdominal lining is called pleurectomy and if the lung is removed, then the operation will be termed as pneumonectomy.


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