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What are the rates of survival for those with mesothelioma?

When a North Carolina resident is diagnosed with mesothelioma, some might believe that it is just another form of cancer that can be treated and lived with, at least for a period of time. Unlike other cancers, mesothelioma can be hard to treat and have a short survival time for those who receive the disease diagnosis. To compound the issue, mesothelioma is often the result of unsafe workplace factors and the use of certain substances like asbestos, which were either downplayed as to their danger, or the victims were not even informed of its presence at home, at work or at school.

Many cancers have clear signals as to when they might be advancing. Mesothelioma, however, is often advanced by the time it is diagnosed. When medical professionals and researchers discuss survival rates, they often refer to the "five-year survival rate." The relative five-year survival uses members of the population who do not have cancer in comparison with the people who have cancer and their survival rates. According to statistics, the five-year survival rate for those with mesothelioma falls between 5 and 10 percent. Those who are diagnosed when younger generally survive for a longer period.

A vast international study examined the median amount of time people with pleural mesotheliomas survived if they had surgery between 1995 and 2009. For those with Stage I mesothelioma, the median survival rate was 21 months. Stage II sufferers lived for 19 months. Stage III lived for 16 months. Stage IV lived for one year. The later the cancer is discovered, the less that can be done to extend the person's life. This is because the mesothelioma will have spread to the point that nothing of consequence can be done to help the patient.

The survival rates for mesothelioma are not good. It is unavoidable that the patient is going to eventually die from the disease regardless of the current medical advancements that are helping people live longer. For many, the disease arose from their workplace and a tacit lack of knowledge that they were working in a dangerous atmosphere that left them vulnerable to mesothelioma. Those who have become ill or lost a loved one need to understand the realities when it comes to this disease and speak to an attorney experienced in assisting clients pursue compensation after being diagnosed with malignant mesotheliomas.

Source: American Cancer Society, "Survival statistics for mesothelioma," accessed on Nov. 2, 2015

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