mesothelioma life expectancy


The average life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient ranges from 12 to 21 months, depending on a variety of factors, such as the stage in which the patient was first diagnosed with the cancer. About 40 percent of mesothelioma patients survive one year, and 20 percent live more than two years.

Staging and Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Increasingly, people who have aggressive asbestos-related cancer find their lives being measured in years — not months. Improved therapies and emerging drug combinations offer newly diagnosed patients a reason to hope and spend more time with their loved ones.

Given the progressive nature of the disease, staging plays an important role in determining a mesothelioma patient's life expectancy.

Experts say generalized life expectancy predictions are almost impossible to make because each case is so different, but the news is slowly getting better.

Prognostic Factors


Generally speaking, older mesothelioma patients have a shorter life expectancy. This is due in part to the relationship between a patient’s age and their overall health, the extent of the disease, and their eligibility for aggressive treatment. In a study of 167 mesothelioma patients, those diagnosed at the age of the 65 years and younger had a median life expectancy of 359 days. Those diagnosed between the ages of 65 and 74 years had a medial survival period of 242 days. Patients over the age of 75 diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma had a median life expectancy of 112 days.


Because the disease has not spread extensively in stage I and II, an early diagnosis can improve life expectancy. By the time the disease reaches stage III and IV, it has progressed beyond the point of origin and other factors begin to affect patient timetables. For this reason, improving methods of mesothelioma detection and diagnosis are crucial to extending life expectancies.

Median life expectancies for patients in each stage are as follows:

Stage I: 21 months
Stage II: 19 months
Stage III: 16 months
Stage IV: 12 months

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