an actual prognosis for emphysema patients is impossible
to determine accurately, there are two systems in place
that attempt to estimate the life expectancy of emphysema
patients. These two systems divide the disease progression
into stages in different ways so it is important to
look at both when deciding where you are in your emphysema
of these systems for staging emphysema
patients takes into account how the patient feels
physically or mentally which allows for a wide range
of outcomes with regards to the emphysema patient's
when it is determined that two people are in the same
stage, they can have very different life expectancies.
This means, in short, that the available statistics
for determining the life expectancy for emphysema patients
is, at best, unreliable.
this in mind, it is obvious that the higher the stage
the emphysema patient is in, the shorter their life
emphysema staging systems provide slightly different
information, summarized as follows:
More than 80% of people with mild emphysema are
alive after four years.
to 70% of people with moderate emphysema are alive
after four years.
people with severe emphysema (FEV1< 35% normal),
about 50% are alive after four years.
with the worst possible emphysema symptoms (such
as inability to walk through the house and severe
weight loss) have the shortest emphysema life expectancy.
that emphysema life expectancy varies widely, even between
people with the same pulmonary function tests and BODE
index scores. Even with the most severe emphysema, the
odds of surviving one year are higher than 90%. Your
primary doctor or pulmonologist can provide more detailed
far, the most important determinant of emphysema prognosis
and emphysema life expectancy is whether someone continues
smoking. Quitting smoking is the single most important
treatment to improve emphysema life expectancy."
mother fell into a deep depression after the spirometry
test determined that she had the lungs of an 111 year
old. After returning from the doctor she told me, "I
can't believe I did this to myself." It was
not until later that I realized how much the medications
were contributing to her deterioration.
prescribed medications for emphysema only provided temporary
relief for emphysema symptoms anyway. As soon as the effects
of the drug wore off, she was right back to square one
with no improvement in her condition.
biggest question I had that was never adequately answered
is my mother's emphysema getting worse so long after she
doctor could ever provide an answer. They would generally
provide some medical and pharmaceutical rhetoric which
oftentimes included the very rare genetic disorder, alpha-1-antitrypsin
deficiency. The thing they did not realize was that
I had researched this disorder and knew how rare it was
and that it did not suddenly materialize in 70 year old
patients after 30 years of smoking cigarettes.
realized my mother's smoking had caused her emphysema
but I also realized smoking was no longer in the picture
and was not the cause of the disease progression!"
was growing or proliferating in her lungs causing them
to distend and crowd her stomach resulting in smaller
and smaller meals. When I persisted with my questions
about the cause of the progression of emphysema, one doctor
finally admitted to me,
don't know why emphysema progresses so long after smoking
cessation. It's a mystery!"
of giving up and throwing in the towel I realized that
the medical and pharmaceutical industries could only offer
temporary relief from emphysema symptoms and could not
provide any true, lasting improvement for my mother.
long and the short of it was that I was obviously asking
the wrong people for solutions. This prompted 6500+ hours
of research into alternative approaches for actually reversing
emphysema and solving this big medical mystery!