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Extending life after mesothelioma

With a median survival time of less than two years, mesothelioma is known as one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

However, a recent study found six characteristics among those who have survived significantly longer periods of time.

Providing longer survival

The study focused on 888 patients in the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank database of those diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma or malignant peritoneal mesothelioma between 1990 and 2017.

Researchers found that those who survived the longest had at least one of six characteristics in common. They were:

  • Female
  • 45 or younger at the time of diagnosis
  • Diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma subtype
  • Cancer is in stage 1
  • Diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, not pleural mesothelioma
  • Treated with both surgery and chemotherapy

Although much of this information was already known, putting it together helps doctors and patients understand better how to fight the disease.

Other ways to battle the disease

There are other ways to help yourself fight cancer:

  • Keep a balanced diet with vegetables and fruit and low in sugar and fat.
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Get regular, light exercise
  • Keep your mind engaged
  • Sleep a lot
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress by eliminating some responsibilities and spending time with loved ones

People with early-stage tumors can benefit from surgery, chemotherapy and other treatment such as radiation or immunotherapy. A 2011 study found that the median survival of a patient who undergoes surgical treatment is 710 days, while only 288 days for those who do not undergo surgical treatment.

Meanwhile, those diagnosed with late-stage pleural mesothelioma benefited the most from palliative treatment.

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