Each single year, thousands of people across the world are exposed to asbestos, a deadly mineral fiber that causes mesothelioma cancer and other health complications. Thousands more have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, a deadly form of cancer that takes years or even decades to show its symptoms.
This cancer develops in the lungs, abdomen, heart, and even the testicles.
Its prognosis is typically poor as the cancer is often caught in its late stage since no specific symptoms are exhibited in the early stages.
This begs the question, “Is there a cure for mesothelioma cancer”?
Mesotheliomas often come back after the initial treatment. If this happens, further treatment options depend on where the cancer is, what treatments have already been used, and a person’s general health.
Cure For Mesothelioma
Well, according to Dr. Christopher Lee, an oncologist, “Even with advancements in detection and treatment, doctors do not expect a mesothelioma cure any time soon. I think it would be overly optimistic to say it’s going to be cured. I mean we can always dream.”
Neil Schachter, a medical director of respiratory care and a professor of pulmonary medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center said that,“ There are some promising avenues of research currently going on, although mesothelioma is a pretty terrible disease with a poor prognosis, though there are some significantly brighter areas in the field.”
Dr.Celli, the chief of pulmonary care at St.Elizabeth’s Medical Center said that,“ Unfortunately, there is no real cure. Some mesothelioma cases that are caught early can have an extensive resection of the pleura and lung for survival benefit.”
Judging from these statements, it’s clear that a cure for mesothelioma has not yet been found. This means that doctors cannot readily use the term “cured” with mesothelioma cancer.
Is there Hope for Mesothelioma Cure?
As stated earlier, a mesothelioma cure is not expected to crop up anytime soon.
One of the main challenges facing mesothelioma cure researchers is that the disease has a very poor prognosis. The estimated lifespan for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is usually not less than 1-2 months. The outlook is usually best for patients who are diagnosed at an early stage while the cancer is only localized to one side and there are many treatment options.
Japanese researchers have developed a blood test that could result in earlier detection of mesothelioma. Earlier detection is possible with the Mesomark test, which looks for protein markers that are often tied to cancers.
Sadly, most people are often diagnosed when the cancer has metastasized or spread to surrounding organs, which makes a cure less likely.
Luckily, available treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and alternative treatments often slow down the progression of the cancer. Many constant improvements and the expanding treatments being developed are focused on allowing patients live longer and enjoy much healthier lives. These treatments have provided many mesothelioma patients with great hope where there was none a few years back.
According to Dr. Sugarbaker, a Medical Director of the Lung Institute at the Baylor College of Medicine, “The goal of our program today is the quality of life extension leading to a cure. There is hope now, and ultimately, anything is possible. We are seeing incredible things we never saw before with this disease, going places we have never been.”
So as much as doctors would want to finally use the word “cured” for mesothelioma cancer, that dream is somehow too far to reach. But we can only hope for the best.
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