Mesothelioma life-expectancy rates rising
The American Cancer Society reports that the average life-expectancy of newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients now stands at four to 18 months, while roughly one in 10 of them will go on to become a mesothelioma survivor who remains alive five or more years past diagnosis.
Experts see mesothelioma survival rates improving thanks to the development of new mesothelioma treatment options. Indeed, medical research suggests that mesothelioma survivor ranks are expanding at an encouraging pace and that, at the same time, mesothelioma survivors are enjoying higher-quality lives – credit for the latter is being ascribed to patients increasingly embracing diets richer in certain vegetables and taking steps to ensure an upbeat frame of mind.
Still, the most critical determining factor underlying mesothelioma survival continues to be the timing of treatment – the sooner it begins after diagnosis, the greater the chance of extended longevity, experts explain.
But additionally, the condition of the mesothelioma patient’s immune system must be solid before, during and after surgery and other therapeutic interventions, scientists have come to understand.
The immune system -- according to the federal government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- is a highly sophisticated mechanism designed to repel attacks from invading cells and organisms. Usually, these unwelcome intruders are little more than bacteria and parasites; a sturdy immune system can purge most of them without the help of medicines. But when the intruder is cancer, only a very strong immune system will be able to cope – not to outright kill tumors (which it won’t be able to do even in the best of circumstances), but to throw a sizable monkey wrench into the disease’s cellular growth machinery.
Researchers have been experimenting with genetic therapies to help immune systems fight more efficiently and effectively, so as to slow the cancer’s spread to a crawl or even to hamstring its ability to get started. They’ve made encouraging progress with such treatments, but remain a long way from declaring victory.
Meanwhile, many mesothelioma survivors are looking to nutrition science for tools they can use right now to fortify their immune systems the natural way.
Many authorities on diet as a mesothelioma countermeasure say that avoiding red meat while at the same time loading up on fruits and vegetables at meals can deprive tumor cells of the nutrients they need to fuel their growth. The vegetables thought to be most helpful in that regard are broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnip greens. Generally, foods that boast cancer-fighting properties include those containing vitamin D, curcumin, flavonoids, folate, ginger and very little in the way of saturated fats, experts tell.
A number of mesothelioma survivors and clinicians have penned books that discuss diet in detail. For example, there is The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen -- Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson; They Said Months, I Chose Years! A Mesothelioma Survivor's Story by J.R. O'Connor; and Anticancer -- A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D. (all available at Amazon.com).
The book by Dr. Servan-Schreiber also includes information about the benefits of lifestyle modification. Experts and patients alike indicate that adopting a doctor-approved exercise regimen, getting ample nighttime sleep, and embracing a positive mental outlook on life can contribute help strengthen the immune system.
However, of those, the lifestyle change most difficult to implement and consistently maintain is positive mental outlook. Living with mesothelioma is a rollercoaster ride of raw emotions -- for the patient AND those closest to him. The worst emotional spills occur in the realm of personal finances because it’s so unbelievably expensive to treat mesothelioma. Patients often have no source of ready funds large enough to cover all of the direct and indirect costs (insurance only goes so far) and there may be no way to earn the sums necessary since most mesothelioma patients are either retired and scraping by on pensions or are too debilitated by the disease to hold a job.
Many mesothelioma survivors searching for the financial peace of mind they know will help them in their bid to defy the disease ultimately turn to law firms like Weitz & Luxenberg in order to find it.
Weitz & Luxenberg has been going to bat for mesothelioma survivors since the late 1980s and is recognized coast-to-coast for the record-setting verdicts and settlementsit’s secured on behalf of those clients (Weitz & Luxenberg always seeks to deliver the biggest financial compensation allowed by law). What clients find comforting is the firm’s pledge to take not even so much as one thin dime for legal services rendered unless and until compensation is obtained from the defendants.
To find out more about the compensation to which you, as a mesothelioma survivor, may be entitled, simply complete the form on the page and click the button to submit it. A Weitz & Luxenberg attorney will contact you shortly after that to provide a free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights.