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Elderly mesothelioma patients unable to receive treatment

A recent study has looked at 4,526 patients age 80 years and older who died from nonmetastatic pleural mesothelioma. What researchers found was that 63% of patients were only observed by their physician and prevented from receiving any treatment that would have extended their life. Louisville residents should know more about this study, the results of which were published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

The authors state that 22% of patients received chemotherapy and had a median survival rate of 9.5 months. For those who did not receive it, the median survival rate was 4.1 months. Two percent of patients underwent both chemotherapy and aggressive surgery, and among them was seen the highest median survival rate: 12.2 months.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer for which there is no cure. Its early detection is rare. The study did find, though, that survival rates do not necessarily shorten and mortality rates do not necessarily go up with age. The median age at mesothelioma diagnosis is 72 years.

The only problem is that the elderly are often unable to tolerate aggressive surgery. Of those elderly patients who underwent surgical resection, 28.5% only lived 90 days, and 11% lived only 30 days. Still, with access to a mesothelioma specialty center, patients can at least have the choice of undergoing surgery.

Mesothelioma arises from exposure to asbestos. Old tiling, insulation and auto parts are just a few products containing asbestos that one might come in contact with. If a person develops the cancer at work, then they may file a claim against the employer. If it came through the use of a particular product, then the person could file a product liability claim. Whatever the situation, victims may want a lawyer on their case. In the event that the victims have died, the family may file.

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