Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops from cells covering so-called serous membranes. It usually develops within the serous membrane lining the inside of the chest (i.e. the pleura), the abdominal (i.e. peritoneal) and lining the inside of the sac in which the heart (i.e. pericardium) is located. Very rarely, this cancer can occur elsewhere. What is mesothelioma prognosis?
In most cases, mesothelioma is malignant, which means it can cause metastasis. Rarely, it may have the character of a benign tumor, which means that it has no ability to form distant metastases, but its clinical course and special location cause significant and dangerous health consequences.
The observed increase in morbidity and deaths in the last decade most likely results not from actual higher morbidity, but from the improvement of diagnostic methods, both in the possibility of collecting material for testing and precise pathological assessment allowing differential diagnosis with metastatic adenocarcinoma. The availability of computed tomography and videotoracoscopy, as well as the possibility of immunohistochemical assessment significantly improved the effectiveness of diagnosis, and the awareness of the existence of therapeutic options in the treatment of cancer, including mesothelioma, is an additional stimulus for doctors diagnosing the patient.
What are the prognosis of mesothelioma?
The prognosis for a rare benign form is usually good. In most cases, mesothelioma is a malignant form. The chances of recovery depend closely on the severity of the disease at the time of diagnosis – the more advanced the cancer, the worse the prognosis. Most patients die within a few years of diagnosis. Overall, the average survival time is about 4-18 months.
Avoiding exposure to asbestos
For a person affected by cancer it is very important to support close relatives, family and friends. It is also worth mentioning various organizations where you can receive specialist psychological help and meet people with similar problems. There are many foundations and associations for people with cancer. Courses and support groups are organized for both patients and their families to facilitate the management of this serious disease.