(Updated June 2017)
Compared to many other cancers, the prognosis for mesothelioma is not a good one. According to the most recent statistics provided by the American Cancer Society, the relative five-year survival rate is between 5 to 10 percent. Even when the cancer is caught at its earliest stage, most people with a mesothelioma prognosis have less than two years to live.
Intro to mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of your organs. This cancer can appear in one of three areas of the body:
· Pleural mesothelioma – cancer in the lining of your lungs
· Peritoneal mesothelioma – cancer in the lining of your abdomen
· Pericardial mesothelioma – cancer in the lining of your heart
When mesothelioma affects key organs like the lungs or heart, generally it is more difficult to treat than if found in another area of the body, such as the abdomen.
Factors affecting your PROGNOSIS
Generally speaking, you have the greatest chance for successfully beating mesothelioma:
· The younger you are when first diagnosed
· When surgery is an option
· Your cancer is caught early and is confined to a small area
That’s why it’s vital you seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you have been exposed to asbestos, the main cause of mesothelioma.
Why is It important to stage your mesothelioma?
Originally developed by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, the TNM staging system is the most accurate and the most commonly-used system in mesothelioma diagnosis. It describes tumors (T), lymph nodes (N) and how your cancer has spread, or metasis (M).
The TNM staging system is very detailed, involving notations like: T1N0MX or T3N1M0 where the tumors, the lymph nodes and the metastasis is further quantified.