Mesothelioma is a small group of aggressive cancers, which affect the mesothelium (organ lining) of the body. Each form of the cancer is named for its particular location within the body: pleural (the chest/lungs), pericardial (the heart), peritoneal (abdomen), and testicular (testes).
These cancers are extremely aggressive (fast-acting) and frequently metastasize (spread) throughout the body. One of the most frightening characteristics of mesothelioma is the lengthy delay between initial exposure to asbestos and diagnosis with the disease, which can be as long as 50 years.
Factors for Prognosis
Prognosis is defined as: a prediction of the probably course and outcome of a disease. Some diseases follow a predictable pattern, allowing doctors and medical professionals to provide a somewhat reliable prediction regarding what a patient can expect as the disease develops and how long they can reasonably expect to live.
With mesothelioma, these predictions are possible, but they are not as accurate as the predictions of other diseases, because of the widely varying differences among patients. Some patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma rather quickly, while others may not develop symptoms for up to 50 years. Furthermore, the disease sometimes progresses very slowly, or (in a majority of cases) somewhat rapidly.
Assessing Mesothelioma Prognosis
There are certain factors which make prognosis of mesothelioma a little more accurate: histology (biological structure of the affected tissue), age of the patient, what stage the cancer was diagnosed at, and the patient’s “performance status” (their general well-being and activities of daily life). Combining an assessment of these factors can help doctors make a much more accurate assessment of the patient’s specific prognosis, which can provide a more precise idea of what you can expect.
Choices After Prognosis
Following your physician’s prognosis of your disease, there are important decisions to be made. Patients who were diagnosed with mesothelioma at an earlier stage (primarily Stage I or II) may have the option of surgical intervention. Although surgery is not a cure, per se, it can be an effective way to extend life expectancy and increase patient comfort. There are numerous treatment choices for eligible mesothelioma patients, including surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy.
In order to accurately assess whether or not you are an eligible mesothelioma patient, your physician will typically order numerous tests including blood work, x-rays, CT scans or MRIs, and a complete medical history evaluation. After all the results are compiled and evaluated, your physician will give you an accurate assessment of your available treatment choices, and how they could affect the progression of your disease.
Filing for a mesothelioma lawsuit is a legal option that can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses. Contact our law firm today to receive an immediate and Free consultation.