A report produced by the National Lung Cancer Audit, and funded by Mesothelioma UK, has shown an increase in the number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma surviving for more than one year. Sadly, survival rates are still poor with only 43% of sufferers surviving one year post diagnosis.
In terms of treatment, the report recommends that patients with adequate performance status should be offered active treatment including chemotherapy, and recommends that all patients should be offered access to relevant clinical trials even if this requires referral to a different location.
In 2014, 36.5% of pleural mesothelioma sufferers received chemotherapy. There was significant variation between regions, ranging from 26.8% to 55.4%. However, the report concluded that, in general, there had been an increase in use of palliative chemotherapy.
The report also highlights the need for a focus on non-pleural mesothelioma. It is noted that pleural mesothelioma accounts for 96.7% of all mesothelioma cases with a further 3.1% being peritoneal mesothelioma, a disease affecting the peritoneum, a thin membrane surrounding the abdominal cavity.
For both types of mesothelioma, a very important factor in survival time is how fit the sufferer is generally speaking. It also clearly affected by the stage at which the diagnosis is made.
It seems that further improvements in survival rates and times can only be helped by further research into the disease. Researchers around the world are continuing their efforts to assist in diagnosis and treatment of the disease with significant research being undertaken in Italy, China and Japan as well as this Country. The ultimate aim is clearly to find a cure for this terrible disease.
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