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Because of mesothelioma's long latency period, many people don't realize they are living with cancer until the disease has progressed to its advanced stages. At this point, surgery may or may not be an option, depending on how strong the person's body is. In addition, most patients are above the age of 50 and therefore respond poorly to aggressive treatment methods.
As a result of these factors, a patient's life expectancy may not be long. However, extensive research is being conducted through clinical trials and other studies to discover more effective drugs and treatment methods for greatly lengthening this span of time.
As noted, many factors can affect a patient's life expectancy:
There are several ways mesothelioma patients can improve their life expectancy. Finding the right doctor is chief among them. Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma often treat the disease through a combination of traditional treatment methods (chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation), emerging therapies (immunotherapy, gene therapy), and non-traditional techniques (massage, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga). Some patients explore nutritional herbs, supplements, and foods. Participating in clinical trials that test new drugs and treatment methods also gives mesothelioma patients a chance to increase their life expectancy.
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