The little bit of information commonly known about mesothelioma is contradictory. Most people know it is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer, but it also has a reputation for growing slowly.
Those who have worked with asbestos or who love someone who worked in a career with asbestos exposure may worry about this deadly and debilitating cancer of the organ linings. How fast does it grow, and how soon will you need to start worrying about possible symptoms after environmental or professional exposure to asbestos?
In its early development, mesothelioma grows slowly
Many people don’t learn about the health consequences of their work with asbestos until long after they have moved on professionally. In fact, many people only get diagnosed with mesothelioma after retirement.
Research shows that it typically takes between 20 and 50 years for mesothelioma to present noticeable symptoms in those with asbestos exposure. Workers and their loved ones will need to continue watching for warning signs of mesothelioma for decades after someone retires or moved on to a safer profession.
Once established, mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer
The medical professionals and researchers who study cancer will provide certain statistics about how aggressive or deadly different forms of cancer are. The five-year survival rates for those diagnosed with a specific cancer can give individuals a good idea about how quickly the cancer may spread and how aggressively they need to pursue treatment.
Unfortunately, for those with mesothelioma, the five-year survival rate is quite low. Though there is a wide spread of survival rates across the various presentations of mesothelioma, the average is only 10%. Only one in 10 people who get diagnosed with mesothelioma will still be alive five years after that diagnosis. Those with localized mesothelioma have the highest five-year survival rate at 18%. Those with distant mesothelioma which has spread across the body have a 7% five-year survival rate.
Those recently diagnosed with mesothelioma and those supporting a loved one coping with this diagnosis may need to consider the financial implications of such an aggressive form of cancer. Seeking compensation is often necessary to connect someone who has asbestos-related mesothelioma with medical care and reduce the impact of their illness on the people they love.