Unfortunately, there is no cure from mesothelioma. However, a diagnosis of the condition is not an immediate death sentence. Approximately 40% of those who are diagnosed survive at least one year. Depending on the type of mesothelioma you have, your age, and your overall health, you may be able to live for as many as five years. Some patients have lived even longer.
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be a terrifying experience that leaves you and your loved ones afraid of what the future may hold. This article will provide you with information about mesothelioma’s progression and the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma.
How Fast Does Mesothelioma Progress?
It can take a long time from when you were exposed to asbestos for mesothelioma to develop. There have been cases that weren’t discovered until 70 years after the exposure, though many will develop sooner than that. Mesothelioma’s lengthy latency period can make the condition difficult to diagnose, and it may initially be misdiagnosed altogether.
Once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the following factors will influence how long you are able to survive.
What Stage of the Disease You Are In
Generally, individuals who are diagnosed as being in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of mesothelioma are those who may be able to live up to five years. At Stage 3 or Stage 4, you may be looking at a significantly shorter life expectancy.
The Type of Mesothelioma You Have
If you have pleural mesothelioma, your lifespan may be longer because this condition is easier to treat. Your lifespan won’t be as long if you have pericardial mesothelioma, which is the less-common form of the condition.
Any Other Conditions You Have
Because mesothelioma takes so long to develop, many people who are diagnosed with the condition may be older people who have other health issues like heart conditions. These health issues can limit your options for mesothelioma treatment.
Whether or Not Surgery Is an Option
If your health and the size of your mesothelioma tumor permit it, surgery may be an option. At this time, however, there is no evidence that definitively proves that removing the tumor will increase your life expectancy.
Your Access to Mesothelioma Treatment
Having access to experienced doctors who are knowledgeable about mesothelioma can extend your lifespan. Unfortunately, not everyone has the resources to see the best doctors or to travel to them. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos and it caused your mesothelioma, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Your settlement or award could help you access treatment.
The following types of employers are commonly named in mesothelioma cases:
- Asbestos sales companies
- Asbestos product companies
- Asbestos installation companies
Your settlement or award could cover damages that include your doctor and hospital bills, medical travel expenses, missed work, or the permanent loss of your ability to work. If you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma, you may be entitled to the funeral and other related costs.
The Connection Between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
The owners of factories, manufacturers, and mines have a long, dark history of covering up the dangers associated with asbestos exposure. Doctors have been studying the connection between asbestos exposure and respiratory disease since the 1930s. Doctors’ warnings have been steadily ignored since then, all in the name of profits and at the expense of workers.
On top of continuing to expose workers without adequately warning them about the risks, companies often fail to provide adequate personal protective equipment. Anyone who works with asbestos should be given a respirator so they won’t inhale asbestos fibers, but this is not always the case.
Many employers silenced workers who developed mesothelioma by paying them off and forcing them to sign away their rights. If an employer tries to pay you off for less than you are entitled to in exchange for your silence, it’s time to call a lawyer.