Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer, but early detection can improve treatment options and prognosis. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, if it is found in its early stages, the chances of remission and long-term survival are higher. Short-term remission is possible if the cancer is detected before it spreads throughout the body. Some patients have achieved long-term remission for 10 years or more.
Surgery can help reduce the signs and symptoms caused by the spread of mesothelioma in the body, and in some cases, this can cure cancer. The time between the first exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma is usually between 20 and 50 years, so the disease is usually detected when it is advanced. Symptoms of mesothelioma are often confused with other, more common conditions, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma can both achieve remission.
Patients with pericardial mesothelioma may also experience remission if tumors are found only in the pericardium and not in other organs. Stage 1 mesothelioma is the least advanced stage and offers a favorable prognosis compared to later stages. The best treatment for mesothelioma depends on several factors, including the extent to which the cancer has spread and your general state of health. Chemotherapy drugs can be warmed and administered directly into the abdominal cavity (intraperitoneal chemotherapy) for peritoneal mesothelioma.
Surgery may be recommended to remove mesothelioma when diagnosed at an early stage. Veterans and civilians with stage 1 mesothelioma usually have more treatment options available than people diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma. Younger patients are generally healthier overall, which aims to encourage Americans to lead a healthy lifestyle to combat mesothelioma. Studies have shown that among patients in whom it is diagnosed early and treated aggressively, about half can expect a mesothelioma life expectancy of two years, and one-fifth will have a mesothelioma life expectancy of five years.Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to cure mesothelioma, although treatment can help control symptoms.
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of minerals made from microscopic fibers that used to be widely used in construction. There are no recommended screening tests for this cancer in people who are not at increased risk.