National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have learned that many mesothelioma patients younger than 40 may experience the disease differently than their older counterparts. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed in older men who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. For these patients, mesothelioma traditionally follows a familiar, tragic course.
Mesothelioma Patients Under 40 Look Different than Older Patients
When mesothelioma strikes patients under 40, the disease looks much different. They are more likely to:
- be female;
- have peritoneal mesothelioma; and
- survive longer.
The new study was published in the June issue of Oncotarget. NIH researchers relied on eleven years’ worth of data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program.
Of the 12,345 patients, just 2 percent were younger than 40 when diagnosed.
Younger patients were 49 percent female, as opposed to just 22 percent among older patients. Younger patients were diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 48 percent of cases, in contrast to just 9 percent for older patients. And 38 percent of younger patients survived at least 5 years from the time of diagnosis while only 3 percent of older patients lived that long.
Researchers will now begin searching for the reasons to account for such differences. There is some speculation that mesothelioma patients under 40 have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
One thing that could explain the longer survival times is that younger patients are more likely to have surgery to remove the tumor. Many older patients are not well enough to withstand the difficult operation. Among younger patients, 38 percent had surgery. For mesothelioma patients older than 65, only 18 percent had surgery.
Contact Waters Kraus & Paul to Learn More About Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Determining the source of asbestos exposure in young victims can be difficult. Because of this, it is important to find an experienced law firm to represent you. At Waters Kraus & Paul we have a dedicated investigative team that excels in routing out sources of exposure. We have tried young mesothelioma cases before. If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us by email. Or call us at 800.226.9880 to speak with our mesothelioma lawyers, like Gary Paul and Scott Frost in our Los Angeles office, to learn more about how we can assist you and your family with a mesothelioma lawsuit.