Survey Focuses on Quality of Life Post-Mesothelioma
While it’s true that most victims of various types of mesothelioma succumb to their diseases in just a year or two, there are some individuals who’ve made it to that coveted five-year mark.
In Japan, researchers sought out these individuals and questioned them about their quality of life during these last five years when they’ve been essentially “free” of mesothelioma.
The authors, a group of doctors and nurses from various Japanese hospitals, sent a questionnaire to hospitals and patient advocacy groups, who distributed them to malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients considered to be disease-free at this time.
The 64-question form was completed by a total of 133 patients and returned to the study authors so that the results could be compiled.
The results showed that although the group was considered to be without disease, their quality of life still suffered significantly. Respondents complained most often of severe fatigue, pain, sleep disturbances, and shortness of breath.
As such, the authors concluded that the assessment was quite unfavorable for being “free of physical pain” and that long-term survivors dealt with so-called “poor performance status”, which equated with a seriously-impacted quality of life and the need for broad support.
Indeed, impaired function and a variety of symptoms often make it difficult for mesothelioma survivors to handle everyday life. Only a handful can work on a regular basis, when desired, and even simple tasks can be quite a challenge for most.
That’s why most are largely confined to their homes, unable to enjoy outings with family and friends without getting extremely tired or suffering set-backs that send them to bed for several days or – in severe cases – back to the hospital.
Therefore, this study clearly demonstrates that even those fortunate enough to see tumors disappear are subject to a lifetime of poor health.
This is another reason why it is essential for victims to seek compensation from those responsible for their ill health. A diagnosis of mesothelioma means a lifetime of compromise as well as days filled with pain and other issues that make a “normal” schedule difficult to maintain.
In the meantime, mesothelioma survivors must be diligent about seeking the right kind of help, which might include assistance from friends and family as well as a need to hire outside help, which may or may not be covered by insurance.
For those filing suit against asbestos companies, these costs should be figured into the equation when determining what amount of compensation would be appropriate to seek.