Survival statistics for mesothelioma
Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you do not want to read about the survival statistics for mesothelioma, skip to the next section.
In order to get survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least several years ago. Although the numbers below are among the most current we have available, improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outcome for people now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot be used to predict what will happen in any particular person’s case. Knowing the type and the stage of a person’s cancer is important in estimating their outcome. But many other factors, such as a person’s age and overall health and how well the cancer responds to treatment, can also affect a person’s outcome. Even when taking these other factors into account, survival rates are at best rough estimates. Your doctor can tell you if the numbers below may apply, as he or she is familiar with your situation.
Mesothelioma is a serious disease. By the time the symptoms appear and cancer is diagnosed, the disease is often advanced. But regardless of the extent of the cancer, mesothelioma can be very hard to treat.
In the medical literature, average survival times for people with mesothelioma have ranged between 4 and 18 months, depending on the study. But some people live much longer. Between 5% and 10% of people with mesothelioma live at least 5 years after being diagnosed. These numbers tend to be better for people diagnosed at a younger age.
Because mesotheliomas are not common, it is hard to find accurate survival rates based on the TNM stage of the cancer. As a general rule, survival times are likely to be longer for people with mesotheliomas that can be operated on than for those with cancers that have spread too far to be removed. Other prognostic factors, such as those listed in the previous section, may also affect survival.
Last Medical Review: 09/20/2012
Last Revised: 09/20/2012