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Mesothelioma survival rate

The growth of cancer cells in the thin layer of tissues that surround the internal organs is referred to as mesothelioma. The condition most often affects the layer that covers the lungs, but also affects other organs such as the testicles, the heart and other organs in the abdomen.

Symptoms of mesothelioma

The symptoms of mesothelioma are different for different types.

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  • Pleural mesothelioma which affects the layer cover the lungs elicits symptoms such as inexplicable loss of weight, painful cough, pain below the rib cage, abnormal lumps under chest skin and shortness of breath.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma which affects the layer surrounding abdominal tissues elicits signs such as pain and swelling in the abdomen, unexpected loss of weight and presence of abnormal abdominal lumps
  • Other forms of mesothelioma are very rare and not much information is available about their symptoms. Mesothelioma affecting the cardiac layer may cause chest pain and breathing problems, while that affecting the testicles may lead to formation of an abnormal growth in the testicles.

Causes of mesothelioma

  • Mutations of cells present in the layer surrounding various internal organs leads to growth of abnormal cells resulting in mesothelioma. The reason for such mutations is not known.
  • Exposure to asbestos fibers is the primary cause that increases the risk to developing mesothelioma
  • A family history of the disease, exposure to radiation, etc also increases the susceptibility to developing the disease

Treatment of mesothelioma

  • Surgery to drain the excess fluid in the chest and to remove the cancerous tissues
  • Radiation therapy is used to direct intense rays of radiation at the cancer cells to destroy them
  • Chemotherapy is used to intravenously administer special drugs that are designed to kill the cancer cells

Mesothelioma Survival Rate

The survival rate for mesothelioma refers to that percentage of individuals who have been afflicted with a particular type and stage of the disease and that live for a certain number of years after diagnosis. Most cases follow the five year survival rate for mesothelioma which indicates that percentage of patients who live for at least a period of five years after initial diagnosis of the condition.

The survival rate for mesothelioma cannot be generalized across patients as each individual case is unique and the survival rate depends on a number of factors. Some of them include:

  • The tumor size and whether it can be fully removed via surgery
  • The stage and type of the disease
  • The amount of fluid that is collected in the abdomen and/or chest
  • Whether it is a new case of mesothelioma or a reoccurrence

The survival rate for mesothelioma is computed using a number of different methods. The five year relative survival rate is one of the popular methods. It is a comparison of the five year survival rate of the patients with the survival rate of the general population that does not have the disease and is of similar age, etc.

  • The overall five year relative survival rate for mesothelioma was around nine percent for the period 1998 to 2002.

The five year relative survival rates as per the passing years after diagnosis of mesothelioma are as follows:

  • 39 percent by the first year
  • 20 percent by the second year
  • 11 percent by the third year
  • 10 percent by the fourth year
  • 9 percent by the fifth year
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