There is no question that being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma is about one of the worst things a patient can hear. For the vast majority of patients, they have very little time to left to live, so it is basically the same as receiving a death sentence. In most cases, the patient will not survive for more than a period of three years following an initial diagnosis.
The reason for this is because once a person begins to suffer the symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, stomach pain, or any of the others = the malignant mesothelioma is normally in a very advanced stage.
It should be noted that there is no cure for malignant mesothelioma. There are treatment options, but even in the best-case scenarios, these treatment options will extend a patient’s life expectancy for a short period of time, but they will only slow the growth of tumor and will not cause them to go into remission like we see with other types of cancers.
There are a variety of reasons for this, but like many things in life, it often comes down to money. While this is no help to the thousands who are diagnosed with and die from malignant mesothelioma each year, the disease is considered to be very rare. This is because a few thousand patients who develop malignant mesothelioma is a very small amount compared to those who are diagnosed with other types of more common diseases like atrial fibrillation (Afib). For this reason, drug companies can make billions treating Afib, but not much money treating mesothelioma, which is considered an orphan disease. If there is no money in treatment, they don’t want to spend money making new drugs with exception of those diseases granted orphan drug status by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even in these cases, major drug makers usually have little interest.
There are, however, several treatments for mesothelioma that can extend a patient’s life for short period of time, and they include radical surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of two or more of these treatments. These treatments usually cause a lot of pain or suffering, negatively effect a patient’s quality of life, and may not work in many cases.
However, according to a recent news feature from Helio, surgery is being seen as one of the better options based upon the results of a new study. Our Boston mesothelioma attorneys have seen in other cases, these results are not that remarkable in terms of a patient’s overall condition and do not generally result in patient living much longer than without having the surgery.
To get an idea of what type of radical procedures we are dealing with, we see that one involves removing all or most of patient’s lung tissue and then applying a heated chemotherapy wash directly to the site of the cancer and then closing the patient’s wound and hoping the growth of the tumors is slowed. If they are slowed, this is often seen as a good outcome.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Surgery improves OS in malignant pleural mesothelioma, July 20, 2016, Helio, By Yang CFJ
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