What is mesothelioma prognosis



What is mesothelioma prognosis
Malignant Mesothelioma

What is mesothelioma prognosis? It is a rare cancerous tumor. It mainly affects the lining of the lung and thoracic cavity (pleura) or the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It is due to prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Causes

Prolonged exposure to asbestos is the major risk factor. Asbestos is a fire resistant material. This used to be commonly found in vinyls for ceilings, ceilings and insulation, cement and car brakes. Although many asbestos workers smoked, experts do not believe that smoking itself is a cause of this condition.

This affects men more often than women. The average age of diagnosis is 60 years. Most people seem to develop the condition about 30 years after being in contact with asbestos.

Symptom

Symptoms may not appear until 20 to 40 years or more after exposure to asbestos, and may include:

  • Abdominal distension
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weightloss
  • Fever and sweating

Tests and exams






The health care provider will do a test and ask the person questions about the medical history and symptoms. Tests that may be done include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT scan of the chest
  • Pleural fluid cytology
  • Open lung biopsy
  • Pleural biopsy

Mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose. Under the microscope, it can be difficult to distinguish between this disease and similar conditions and tumors.

Treatment

Malignant mesothelioma is a difficult cancer to treat.

There is usually no cure unless the disease is detected very early and the tumor can be completely removed with surgery. Most of the time, at the time of diagnosis, the disease is too advanced for surgery. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be used to reduce symptoms. Also, combining certain chemotherapeutic drugs may help reduce symptoms, but it will not cure cancer.

Without treatment, most people survive for about 9 months.

Participating in a clinical trial (evaluation of new treatments) can give the person more treatment options.

Treatments to relieve pain, oxygen therapy and other complementary treatments may also help relieve symptoms.

Support groups

Stress caused by illness can be alleviated by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.

Expectations (prognosis)

The average survival time varies from 4 to 18 months. The prognosis depends on:

  • The stage of the tumor
  • The age and general health of the person
  • If surgery is an option
  • The person’s response to treatment

Possible complications






Complications of malignant mesothelioma may include:

Side Effects of Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy
Continuous spread of cancer to other organs

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with the provider if you have symptoms of malignant mesothelioma.

Prevention

Avoid exposure to asbestos.

Alternative Names

Mesothelioma – malignant; Malignant pleural mesothelioma; (MPM)