Persons who receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma ordinarily view the news as a death sentence. In most cases, the disease results in death in one or two years. In a happy exception to these data, a North Carolina nurse recently reported that she has survived a case of peritoneal mesothelioma for 16 years.
Mesothelioma, which is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos fibers, comes in two forms: pleural mesothelioma, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, and peritoneal mesothelioma, an inflammation of the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. The woman was first diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2000, when doctors found mesothelioma cells in her abdomen during a hysterectomy. At the time, the majority of patients did not survive more than two years.
As a nurse, the woman understood the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and she thought both were unacceptable. She changed her diet, incorporated regular exercise, and attempted to reduce stress. She also turned to her religion, reading the Bible intensively. She also underwent genomic testing to determine her immune function and inflammation levels. She also took a range of immune system strengthening drugs. The cancer disappeared for 14 years, but just before Christmas 2014, doctors found evidence of new tumor growth. The woman underwent surgery to remove the tumors and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy. A scan in August 2016 revealed more tumor growth, but the woman remains optimistic.
Most cases of mesothelioma do not end so encouragingly. Any person who has received a diagnosis of either pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma – or has a friend or loved one who has received such a diagnosis – may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in representing victims of asbestos product exposure. An experienced lawyer can provide advice on the possible sources of the asbestos exposure and the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
Source: Asbestos.com, “Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survivor: ‘Integrative Medicine Works’,” Tim Povtak, Sep. 30, 2016