The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is generally reported as less than one year following diagnosis, however a patient's prognosis is affected by numerous factors including how early the cancer is diagnosed and how aggressively it is treated.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the mesothelium causing cells in the membrane to become cancerous and divide rapidly. This causes the thickening of the membrane, fluid buildup and the formation of tumors. This can result in difficulty breathing, nausea, fatigue and a myriad of other concerns.
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure which occurs when fibers are inhaled or ingested into the body and become lodged in body cavities, causing inflammation or infection. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous substance that was widely used in the 20th century in a number of different industries. When the public became aware of the hazards associated with the mineral, warnings were issued in the mid-1970s and use of the product began to decline.