Remission and Recurrence of Mesothelioma

A mesothelioma diagnosis comes with a lot of uncertainty but it is possible to get to either remission or recurrence. 

What Does Remission Mean Exactly? 

Remission is a positive outcome of any cancer treatment. Remission means that the cancer is shrinking or is no longer visible to doctors. At times, remission can last for years and other times it can last for only a few months. 

This does not mean the cancer is cured, but rather that the medication and/or treatment is helping and you can cease treatment for now. It is nearly impossible to predict when cancer may return and how aggressive it will be if it does. 

Mesothelioma Remission

In patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are typically two different types of remission: partial remission and complete remission. 

Partial remission means that the cancer is improving at a steady rate. Usually doctors will measure this progress in percentages, stating that the tumor or cancer has decreased in size by a certain percentage. 

Even when a patient is in partial remission, they still need to be monitored by doctors regularly to ensure the tumor is not growing. Someone in partial remission from mesothelioma can continue living for years under careful medical watch. 

Complete remission means that there is no longer any sign of cancer at all. In mesothelioma, complete remission is very rare, but it is possible. Usually, remission is a result of early intervention with aggressive medical treatment to shrink the tumor(s). Some people have even lived for over a decade before signs of mesothelioma present themselves again.

Factors That Lead to Remission

There is no known cure for mesothelioma, so these treatment methods carry no promise of remission, but there are some factors that seem to be a trend in patients who go into remission. 

Surgery and therapy combined will make the greatest impact when it comes to mesothelioma remission. Surgery is the most effective form of treatment, as it removes cancerous cells and allows the body to adjust with normal cells. 

There are some therapies though that also aid in the possibility of remission. These therapies include chemotherapy, oxygen therapy, and immunotherapy. 

Other contributing factors to the possibility of remission include healthy dietary choices and changes as well as nutritional supplements. As with any illness, your body is better able to fight off disease when it is strong and healthy overall. 

Recurrence of Mesothelioma

Recurrence is the opposite of remission. Recurrence is when the cancer presents itself again after the patient has been in remission following treatment of mesothelioma. Usually with mesothelioma recurrence, the cancer comes back stronger and more aggressive. 

The reason recurrence is so common in patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is that mesothelioma is inherently difficult to treat because tumors are located so close to organs. This makes them difficult to fully remove without damaging the other organs. 

Managing Recurrence and Remission

The key to managing recurrence and remission is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise, monitor your symptoms, and see a doctor regularly to monitor for any problems as early as possible.