Can You Survive A Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is often associated with exposure to toxic asbestos products or materials. Being diagnosed with this cancer is seriously bad news as the median survival period for patients is roughly a year. Does that mean that you can’t survive Mesothelioma? Not at all.

Cancer is what is known as a growth disease. It consists of mutated cells that spread through the immediate area and eventually much of your body. Mesothelioma is a very unique form of cancer because it can take up to 50 years after exposure to asbestos to manifest. The cancer grows slowly, but is extremely hard to diagnose. The problem is the growth tends to occur in the mesothelium, which is a lining around the chest and abdomen as well as the organs therein. Most symptoms are confused with other diagnosis and the disease goes untreated until it is usually at a very late stage.

Any discussion about Mesothelioma comes with a rather unstated morbidity. The cancer is usually deadly, but that doesn’t mean there are not people who have survived it or that you could. As usual, the key is to try to discover it as early as possible. Problems breathing can be a tell tale sign and should be investigated early. Regardless, there are people who have survived the cancer. Let’s take a look at one.

Steven Gould was a famous historian and paleontologist at Harvard. In 1982, he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at the age of 40. Located in his abdomen, he sought out aggressive treatment. Within two years, he was declared cancer free. He lived another 20 years until 2002. A very unlucky sort, he died at the age of 60 from Metatastic Adenocarcinoma of the lung. Despite its location, the cancer is glandular in nature and not related to Mesothelioma. Still, the good professor beat Mesothelioma.

Is it likely that you’ll beat this cancer if diagnosed with it? The statistics say no, but I’ve always hated statistics. Never give up. Pursue aggressive therapy and consider joining up with various trials that are focused on experimental treatments for Mesothelioma. The National Cancer Institute keeps a running list of such trials. Just think…if Gould had given up, he would have missed another 20 years of life.

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