With a number of doctors and researchers steadily working towards finding a mesothelioma cure, the outlook for this rare cancer is continually becoming brighter for current and future patients. New cases are positively responding to innovative treatment options more often and determined cancer researchers are capitalizing on these developments while moving closer to finding a definitive cure.
Mesothelioma Survival Rate
The average survival rate for mesothelioma patients ranges between four and 18 months after diagnosis. Although this figure can be discouraging, there are many factors that can contribute to exceeding this prognosis. New stories are constantly emerging that report exceeding the survival rate and in a handful of cases, patients have achieved long-term remission.
The survival rate is often improved when the cancer is detected in its earlier stages. The Mesomark blood test is one newly developed test that is intended to make early diagnosis easier, which can expand the range of treatment available to a patient.
Traditional mesothelioma treatment options involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery may be chosen to remove all or part of the tumor, which can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with the illness. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be administered to kill any remaining cells or stunt the growth of the tumor. Since mesothelioma is notoriously resistant to therapy, a combination of these treatments may be used to fight the cancer through a process called multimodality therapy.
Alternative therapies are continuously being explored, typically in conjunction with other methods. These options include immunotherapy, gene therapy and even nutritional alterations. A balanced diet including of whole grains, proteins, dairy, fruits and vegetables can maximize the body's ability to fight cancer while keeping up strength throughout a draining chemotherapy or radiation program. A nutritionist can also help a patient construct a diet to address certain side effects of treatment, including nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Patients
Because mesothelioma is a rare disease, research to expand the body of knowledge surrounding this cancer is crucial to finding a cure. Qualifying mesothelioma patients may elect to participate in clinical trials and the benefits of this choice are expansive. The patients can experience new and promising treatments whose impact on cancer may be greater than currently existing treatments. Additionally, researchers can explore how these treatments affect mesothelioma, which in turn benefits the treatment options for future patients.