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Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that begins in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin layer of membrane that lines the inner chambers of the body, such as the chest. It is also a severe and vicious asbestos-related cancer. Asbestos exposure is hazardous at all levels, but prolonged asbestos exposure (carcinogenic) can cause Mesothelioma.
The average life expectancy for a patient suffering from Mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months after cancer initiation in the mesothelium. But this expected expectancy period varies and is proportional to many factors, including Cancer Cell type, type of Mesothelioma, Stage of Mesothelioma at the diagnosis, and overall health of the patient.
Some of the factors that impact the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient are as follows.
Life expectancy for Mesothelioma varies directly according to the cell type of cancer. There are three types of cells when it comes to mesothelioma, although all of them are deadly. But the infection rates of all 3 are different. The three cell types are as follow:
Epithelioid Cells have a shape similar to eggs and adhere to one another as they spread. Their spreading speed is slow as they move in bundles. The slow-spreading speed makes Epithelioid Mesothelioma the most treatable cell type.
The life expectancy of a patient with epithelioid Mesothelioma is around 12-24 months.
Sarcomatoid Cells are slender in shape. They spread fast to distant organs of the body; their rapid spread makes them less suitable for therapy.
The life expectancy of a patient with Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is around six months.
Biphasic consists of epithelioid and Sarcomatoid cells. The correlation between the two cell types influences the prognosis of a biphasic mesothelioma tumor.
Since epithelioid cells spread slower and react well to therapy, having more of them results in a longer life expectancy.
The life expectancy of a patient with biphasic Mesothelioma is around 8-21 months.
Location of the Cancer Cells
There are four locations where mesothelioma cells usually develop. The Lifespan of the patient varies according to the location of the cancer cells. Their locations are as follows.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma progresses in the void that surrounds the abdomen. It spreads slowly than the other types, and it is treatable.
The life expectancy of a patient with peritoneal Mesothelioma is around 52 months.
Pericardial Mesothelioma is the deadliest type of mesothelioma cancer. Cancer develops in the pericardium, the lining of the heart.
The life expectancy of a patient with peritoneal Mesothelioma is around six months.
It develops on the testicular tunica vaginalis, which is the membrane of the testes.
The life expectancy of a patient with testicular Mesothelioma is around 23 months. Orchiectomy (removal of testes) is a medical procedure through which it can get cured.
It develops in the abdomen. The life of a pleural mesothelioma patient depends on the stage of cancer.
Usually, life expectancy ranges from 12-21 months.
Stages of Cancer
Staging monitors the growth of mesothelioma tumors and assists doctors in developing a treatment strategy and predicting patient prognosis. Mesothelioma is classified into four Stages based on tumor size and location.
In Stage 1, the cancer cells are limited to only the lining of Pleura. At this point, surgery is most beneficial. The patient can further extend his Lifespan by taking chemotherapy.
The expected Lifespan of patients who have gone through surgery is around 22 months.
Stage 2 is marked with the spread of tumors. In stage 2, the cancer cells have already spread to the neighboring structures. Surgery is still possible at this stage.
The expected Lifespan of a Stage 2 patient who has gone through surgery is around 20 months.
In Stage 3, cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes in the surrounding area. In certain situations, surgery is a possibility.
Stage 3 patients who have successfully undergone surgery have an average expectancy of around 18 months.
When a patient gets diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma, the tumor has spread to the opposite side of their thorax and other distant body areas.
At this point, most therapies like chemotherapy and immunotherapy attempt to alleviate symptoms and ease out the pain.
Stage 4 patients who are taking regular treatments have an average life expectancy of 15 months.
Age of the Patient:
The younger the patient, the greater the life expectancy. Many studies have confirmed that fit and young patients diagnosed with Mesothelioma have better immunity to fight the cancer cells. Which helps their bodies live longer than older adults with underlying other health issues.
Patients under 45 have the longest life expectancy.
Gender of the Patient
Women suffering from Mesothelioma often outlive male mesothelioma patients. This difference is that men usually have greater exposure to asbestos and other carcinogenic particles than women.
Although it’s not authentic, some doctors say Estrogen plays a role in the delay of spreading cancer cells.
Although there is no cure for Mesothelioma, some treatments are available to extend the patient’s Lifespan and alleviate their pain. Common treatments involve immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and some experimenting stuff like clinical trials.