A recent report has found that mesothelioma in young people has different characteristics than those found in older patients.
At Asbestos Justice we recently settled mesothelioma claims for sufferers’ families after they tragically lost loved ones to the incurable asbestos related cancer at the young ages of 22 and 40 respectively. Most clients we represent in their mesothelioma claims are over 70 years of age when diagnosed.
The report published in the publication “Oncotarget” highlights that there is a subset of mesothelioma patients under the age of 40. It has been found that in these patients mesothelioma can act very differently resulting in the need for a different approach to treatment to be adopted when compared to plans put in place to treat older sufferers.
The findings were based on data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), a national database covering cancer diagnosis. Expert researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) concentrated their view of mesothelioma cases diagnosed between 1990 and 2010.
The conclusions were illuminating in that it was found that around 2 per cent of the 12,435 mesothelioma cases studied occurred in sufferers aged 40 years and under. Also, whilst almost 80 per cent of the older mesothelioma patients were noted to be men, in the younger, under 40 category, the disease was noted to be equally split between men and women.
The study also uncovered that sufferers in the younger age group were more likely to undergo radical surgery and usually lived longer following diagnosis, regardless of the type of mesothelioma they had been diagnosed with.
Anish Thomas, Managing Director within the Thoracic and GI Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute stated:-
“Regardless of histologic subtype, young patients with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma had significantly improved overall survival.”
It remains the case that most mesothelioma sufferers tragically pass away due to the condition within 12 months following diagnosis.
Mr Thomas and his team also uncovered further differences between younger and older mesothelioma sufferers in that in the younger group, the split between pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma was evenly split whereas in the older category, around 90 per cent were found to be suffering with the pleural form of the incurable asbestos related cancer.
Whilst the conclusions reached are helpful in understanding how mesothelioma affects certain age groups, the researchers acknowledged in their report that further studies are required in order to form a greater understanding on how genetic susceptibility and exposure to asbestos interact to cause mesothelioma in younger people.
Source – A, et al “Distinctive clinical characteristics of malignant mesothelioma in young patients”, 30th June 2015, Oncotarget pp.16766-73