Longer survival outlook for patients with localized mesothelioma

Despite the fact that people have known for decades that asbestos is toxic and can cause cancer, people continue to suffer from diseases and cancers caused by the airborne fibers. Tragically, the malignant forms of these cancers are ultimately fatal and while there are treatments to extend a person’s life and ease the pain, a diagnosis can come too late for many victims.

When cancers such as mesothelioma are eventually diagnosed, it may be too late for some treatments to be effective. However, medical research into this devastating illness is ongoing and researchers are always looking to find better ways of diagnosing and treating this cancer of the linings around the lungs. Recently, a team of thoracic surgeons believes that they have identified a form of mesothelioma that may have a better survival outlook for patients.

Pleural mesothelioma makes up about 75 percent of malignant mesothelioma cases and is linked to asbestos exposure. Standard pleural mesothelioma spreads across the membrane that surrounds the lungs. It spreads very quickly and generally results in a survival rate of between 8 and 14 months. However, researchers believe that survival rates are higher for victims a different type of mesothelioma, called localized malignant mesothelioma. While LMM is comprised of the same mesothelioma cells as standard pleural mesothelioma, it does not spread in the same way. Instead, it is concentrated in one solid tumor.

The surgeons in this study suggest that the survival rate for people with LMM is more like 11.6 to 36 months, potentially making patients with LMM better candidates for aggressive treatments.

Research into mesothelioma is essential because it is a devastating disease that affects thousands of people every year. It can take at least 20 years for symptoms of asbestos-related cancers to be diagnosed, and many people die shortly after a diagnosis. Even after a loved one passes away from mesothelioma, loved ones can pursue compensation for their loss. With the help of legal representation, the source of asbestos exposure can be tracked and the party responsible for the exposure can be held responsible for not protecting victims from the toxic substance. Money cannot bring a loved one back, but it can help families deal with the costly financial aspect of a cancer diagnosis.

Source: Surviving Mesothelioma, “Localized Mesothelioma May Provide Longer Survival,” Jan. 25, 2013

Our North Carolina-based law firm works with families of victims across the country who have lost a loved one from asbestos-related cancers, including all forms of mesothelioma. For more information, please visit our page on wrongful death.