An Australian study recently revealed a link between quality of life and survival rates in mesothelioma patients. Mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure, often causes painful symptoms and results in a short life expectancy. Data from mesothelioma patients showed that many did not have adequate palliative care to manage symptoms, and that this suffering, combined with mental and emotional struggles, could be shortening the length of their survival.
Researchers from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia reviewed mesothelioma patient data initially collected during the RESPECT-Meso trial. Many of the 261 recently diagnosed mesothelioma patients in the study reported symptoms such as persistent cough, chest pain, and fatigue; patients may also experience symptoms from aggressive treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy. These symptoms can cause discomfort and pain, and they make it difficult for individuals to work and maintain their daily routines. Palliative treatment can help to manage these symptoms and may include pain management, removing fluid from the chest cavity, relieving pressure from tumors, and other solutions. Beginning palliative care early in a person’s treatment can help to maintain their quality of life and may improve their survival rate.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis Leads to Physical and Emotional Suffering
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until later stages of the disease. Mesothelioma tumors can take decades to form after initial exposure to asbestos, and early symptoms can easily be mistaken for other respiratory conditions. Most patients do not receive a mesothelioma diagnosis until the disease has begun to spread, making it difficult to effectively treat. The average survival rate for a mesothelioma patient is 15 months after diagnosis, and only about nine percent of patients achieve five-year survival.
In addition to physical symptoms, many mesothelioma patients struggle with anxiety and depression after receiving their diagnosis. There are many factors that can affect a patient’s prognosis, including the progression of the disease, age at diagnosis, genetics, other respiratory conditions, and the type of mesothelioma, and some patients may have a better outlook than others. Ultimately, however, mesothelioma is terminal for most. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are confronted with a difficult reality, and many have concerns about the impact their prognosis will have on their families. Almost 80 percent of the patients evaluated in the study reported worrying about their families after receiving their diagnosis.
Uncertainty can contribute to these feelings, and the research team in Australia found a common thread of uncertainty among patients in the RESPECT-Meso data. Of the 261 patients in the study, 25.9 percent believed they needed more information about their condition, 24.7 percent had concerns about their care, and 21.2 percent had issues with their treatment. The data revealed that individuals who struggled with these concerns and other side effects of the disease had a shorter survival period.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law are here to help. Our knowledgeable, experienced team of lawyers has successfully represented clients in all types of asbestos exposure cases, and we are committed to getting you the compensation to which you are entitled. We will be with you every step of the way so that you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. With offices located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.