It is always difficult-not just for patients themselves but also for their families and loved ones-to face the difficult truth about mesothelioma life expectancy. With the grim news a prognosis brings, plans for the future are suddenly and drastically cut short. Both victims and the people who love them experience the grief process as they are faced with this impending loss. Because shock and denial are normal emotional reactions during that process, it’s important for those struggling to face the reality of the situation to be sure that they completely understand it.
As such, both mesothelioma patients and their support circle are encouraged to research mesothelioma survival rate statistics and read stories about noted “survivors”-individuals that have made it to the 5-year mark or well-beyond while living with the disease. Any questions left unanswered should be directed to the medical team responsible for the patient’s care; do not hesitate to press for further information or a more thorough explanation regarding any concerns you have about mesothelioma life expectancy.
What to Expect After a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
For patients with mesothelioma, life expectancy can differ significantly. Although a statistical majority of patients do conform to average prognoses, there are certainly expectations to the rule; additionally, several different factors play a role in a patient’s survival expectancy. After you are diagnosed, your doctor should discuss these factors-which include the stage, location and type of your cancer—with you, as well as how he or she expects you to respond to a recommended course of treatment.
From the time they are diagnosed, many people live only months, while others can survive with their cancer in remission for several years. On average, the overwhelming majority of mesothelioma patients live somewhere between four and 24 months after receiving a conclusive diagnosis. Statistics show that about 10 percent of victims survive for five years or more, and a few have lived well into their second or even third decade with the disease.
Coping with the Reality of Your Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Once your doctor has given you a mesothelioma prognosis, you will have a more concrete idea about what to expect. As you face this difficult reality, you should expect to undergo a grieving process. Mental health professionals treating the bereaved often stress the importance of allowing this process to unfold naturally and warn against attempts to deny or suppress even the most difficult emotions that are bound to surface as you work your way through the steps of grieving. Facing your feelings is imperative to reaching a point of acceptance and is also an integral part of any healthy coping process.
One emotion that is very normal for mesothelioma victims is anger. General anger about the unfairness of the situation is common, as is resentment or even a desire for vengeance against those responsible for the exposure to asbestos that caused the victim’s illness. One active response to these feelings of anger is to exercise your legal rights to compensation from those liable parties. Mesothelioma victims can get started by contacting a law firm that specializes in asbestos-injury litigation and setting up a consultation to discuss their options and have their case reviewed for free.