There have been several U.S.-based studies that have indicated that patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma who live near to or seek treatment from major metropolitan academic hospitals survive longer with their disease. But these results are not universally true, and long-term research done in Australia contradicts the premise entirely.
15-Year Study Finds Socioeconomic and Geographic Status Do Not Change Mesothelioma Outcomes
Though there are clear differences between Australia and the United States, mesothelioma physicians are paying careful attention to the 15-year Australian study, which analyzed outcomes for more than 300,000 cancer patients, including those diagnosed with the rare asbestos-related disease.
Scientists from the Cancer Epidemiology Division of the Cancer Council of Victoria found that living in a city or living with a higher economic status did little to change mesothelioma outcomes. No matter where an individual lives, once they are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma they face a prognosis that rarely exceeds 18 months.
Australia’s High Mesothelioma Rates Make Research Outcomes Significant
Australia has one of the highest rates of malignant mesothelioma in the world. The country once had a booming asbestos mining business, and the material was used extensively in the construction of their infrastructure. The frequency of diagnosis among both industrial workers and those afflicted as a result of having lived in homes contaminated by asbestos insulation has made mesothelioma research a top national priority.
This latest study showed that rural areas have far higher levels of poverty and that those impoverished areas experienced lower survival rates for many types of cancer, but the same was not true of mesothelioma. The asbestos-related disease’s survival rate was the same regardless of where the patients lived or were treated, or of their socioeconomic status.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, getting the best quality care is a top priority. For information on where to find these resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.