Our Boston mesothelioma lawyers know that survival rates for mesothelioma are low because the cancer is difficult to treat and because the cancer is often not diagnosed until it has advanced. Traditional cancer treatments including chemotherapy and radiation can lead to cure under some circumstances or can prolong survival, slow the growth of cancer and relieve pain.
Patients suffering from mesothelioma naturally want to do everything possible to maximize the chances of a successful treatment outcome. Now, new research from China indicates that simply changing the way in which you eat can potentially have a direct bearing on your chances against this aggressive cancer.
Nutrition and the Link to Mesothelioma Outcomes
According to a report on Surviving Mesothelioma, researchers from China’s Shandong University conducted a study of 121 patients who were being treated for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Patients enrolled in the university study had already undergone biopsies of the tumors caused by the mesothelioma. The Shandong University researchers aimed to study the outcome of the patients in order to assess the impact of nutrition on the efficacy of their treatment and their survival rates.
Researchers obtained clinical and laboratory data as well as collected demographic information on the subjects in the study. Then, using a tool called the prognostic nutrition index (PNI), the researchers determined the nutritional status of each patient. PNI measures the peripheral blood lymphocyte count and the concentration of serum albumin in the body. The metric has been used in the past in order to monitor patients for malnutrition and to estimate survival outcomes for patients after surgical procedures.
This study was the first to specifically examine the relationship between PNI and mesothelioma survival, although other past research has been done on the link between PNI and cancer. The study revealed that there was a clear link between PNI and the outcome of the patients, concluding that those who have a lower PNI are more likely to die from the mesothelioma than those whose PNIs were higher.
For patients who had a PNI lower than the mean of 44.6, death was statistically a greater possibility. This indicates that people who maintain a healthy diet and have good nutrition are more likely to have better treatment outcomes and a better survival rate.
It is good news for patients that eating right can help to reduce the risk of death from this difficult to treat cancer. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go before there is a reliable cure that can help all mesothelioma patients.
Until a cure is found, thousands of patients will continue to suffer ill health effects as a direct result of exposure to asbestos and the cancers that result. Those responsible for the exposure must be held accountable for losses and doing everything possible to prevent future exposure is essential to reducing the chances that others will become sick.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Copper Stores May Help in Fight Against Mesothelioma, Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog, October 22, 2013.