When a doctor is faced with a particular patient, they take a great deal of different information into account when trying to determine the prognosis. The goal of this effort is to figure out roughly what kind of outcome a patient should expect. This guidance can, in turn, allow a patient to make more informed decisions about whether a particular treatment makes sense. There are some factors that are very specific to the disease itself that are often used in determining the prognosis for mesothelioma in a particular patient.
Mesothelioma is actually an entire category of cancer that occurs in the protective lining of organs. Two patients who have this diagnosis may have disease that are actually distinct from each other in very significant ways. In fact, about 75 percent of patients with this type of cancer have the pleural form that develops in the lining of the lungs, and this is the easiest form to treat. The peritoneal variety, on the other hand, happens around the stomach and abdomen lining and is somewhat more difficult to handle. The rarest and most troublesome of all is the pericardial, which develops in the lining that surrounds the heart.
Beyond where the growth occurs, doctors also look closely at exactly what type of cells served as the origin point of a particular cancer when trying to determine how it is likely to behave under treatment. The majority of this particular cancer, about 60 percent, begins in epithelial cells. A tumor of this type is often called a carcinoma, and is the more easily treated type. On the other hand, the remaining tumors are formed from sarcomatoid cells and form a sarcoma tumor. This is a more rare type in general, and can be much more difficult to treat.
These are the factors about the nature of a specific case that will have some of the biggest impacts on the prognosis for mesothelioma. In addition to these, though, physicians must look at things like how far the cancer has spread and the general health of the patient. Keep in mind that even the most difficult to treat types are still successfully brought under control in some cases.