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How Long Can Someone Live with Mesothelioma?
If you have ever known someone suffering from mesothelioma, you know that the survival rate is extremely low after diagnosis. On average, most patients only live between four and 18 months with the deadly lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate is only five to 10 percent.
Why is the survival rate so low? It is because there is often a large amount of time between the asbestos exposure and the diagnosis. Victims usually suffer asbestos exposure while on the job. The microscopic asbestos fibers attach to the linings of the lungs, heart and abdomen. The fibers can sit there for decades before they start to cause health problems. After time, cancer develops and mesothelioma symptoms begin to manifest. Unfortunately, once symptoms develop it is usually too late for effective treatment.
If caught in the early stages, surgery and chemotherapy are effective mesothelioma treatments. Doctors can sometimes remove the tumor if caught early enough. While most tumors form in the lungs, some form near the heart, which are harder for doctors to treat.
As with most cancers, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Researchers are looking for treatments to help mesothelioma victims live longer lives.
Do you currently know someone living with mesothelioma?
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