Be on the lookout for an update from me also, I just had my annual oncology exam :-)
Surviving Mesothelioma by Katherine Keys
Stories of survival are always inspiring. Stories of surviving one of the most aggressive and fatal types of cancer is simply awe-inspiring. Unfortunately not many people can be survivors of this terrible disease. It creeps up on its victims and often only makes itself known after it has reached advanced, incurable stages. Every once in a while, though, someone makes it and that helps others find the strength to fight.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It affects the lining of tissue that covers most organs in the body, called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, but the most common type is cancer of the mesothelium around the lungs. This is called pleural mesothelioma and the biggest risk factor for developing it is exposure to asbestos fibers.
Many people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma worked in environments for years in which fibers of this mineral were inhaled through the air. Someone who lived with a person who worked around asbestos for years is also at risk. In many cases people struggling with this type of cancer were not told by employers that they were working in a contaminated environment. This has led to a number of mesothelioma lawsuits and settlements.
Pleural mesothelioma causes symptoms that may include difficulty breathing, a regular and painful cough, pain in the abdomen and under the rib cage, lumps under the skin on the chest, weight loss, and shortness of breath. Most diagnosed cases of pleural mesothelioma are fatal. Patients are usually given treatment options along with a life expectancy.
Why Can’t This Disease Be Cured?
There are a few reasons why most cases of mesothelioma cannot be cured. One is that this is a particularly aggressive type of cancer. It spreads rapidly, which makes it hard to stop. Another issue is that it usually develops after years of exposure to asbestos. The signs and symptoms may not be obvious or uncomfortable enough until the cancer is well advanced. Many people get a diagnosis only after the cancer has reached a late stage.
There are treatments for mesothelioma, which can help people live longer, and which in rare cases may cure the disease. These treatments include surgery to remove cancerous tissue or even an entire lung, chemotherapy and targeted radiation. These treatments have both drawbacks and benefits that must be considered.
Katherine’s Story of Triumph
The story of Katherine Keys is one that all people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma should know about. When diagnosed with the disease she was given a maximum life expectancy of two years, which she decided to beat. Her treatment included the surgical removal of her right lung and mesothelium followed by radiation to target any cancer cells left behind after the surgery.
After regular checkups following her treatment, Katherine discovered that her cancer was in remission. She now only needs to be checked once a year, and although life with one less lung is more challenging, she fought and beat mesothelioma and is expected to live out the rest of her life cancer-free. Katherine shares her story with others to inspire and to give hope. Being resilient and positive are the keys to fighting, surviving, and living a great life after cancer.