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 disease progression.
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
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
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 quit smoking?"
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
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!