Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Rate

There are three forms of mesothelioma that present in patients - pleural mesothelioma, which typically attacks the lungs, the far rarer pericardial type which strikes at the heart and finally peritoneal mesothelioma, which involves the lining of the abdomen and sits between the other two forms in rate of occurrence. Peritoneal mesothelioma shares the same suspected cause as all forms of this cancer: Exposure to asbestos fibers. When inhaled, these long, thin fibers may become trapped in a body and cannot be cleared naturally. Once a fiber is stuck it is only a matter of time until a body reacts; current medical thinking is that a body's own cells attempt to dislodge these fibers and then begin dividing unexpectedly, leading to cancer.

One of the most important questions that anyone diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma will have is about their survival rate. This form of cancer is known as an "orphan disease", as it strikes a relatively low number of patients every year, but by the same token research into curing mesothelioma is not as aggressive as in other cancer disciplines. Currently, the median survival rate for those with peritoneal mesothelioma is between five and 13 months, numbers that look terrible on the surface. There are two important facts to bear in mind, however - many patients live far longer in order to create such a median value and one of the most important contributing factors in a shortened survival rate is late diagnosis. The sooner this cancer can be identified, the better the chance that a patient will not only live past the median survival rate but that an effective form of treatment can be delivered.

Diagnosing Peritoneal Mesothelioma

It is in the initial stages of developed that peritoneal mesothelioma is the easiest to treat and that will give a patient the best odds for long-term survival. In order to ensure that a diagnosis occurs as quickly as possible, patients must be very clear with their primary care physicians about any severe abdominal pain they are experiencing - the first sign of peritoneal mesothelioma - as well as being up-front about any period of time in which they were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis. Doctors must be able to draw the line between asbestos and current symptoms or the cancer may be mistaken for a more common ailment, allowing the mesothelioma to move from only the lining of the abdomen to the liver, spleen or bowels.

No one wants a mesothelioma diagnosis - treatment options are still evolving and no definitive method of action has yet been identified, but survival rates are improving. There is hope for those who have developed peritoneal mesothelioma, hope that they will not only beat the median survival rate but will be able to effectively treat and manage their condition over the long term. If you or a loved one is suffering with this disease, fill out the form on this page for a free information packet and learn more about the evolving fight against mesothelioma.