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Crucial Answers to Surviving Mesothelioma

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Mesothelioma

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      What Is the Survival Rate of a Person With Mesothelioma?

      On average, a mesothelioma patient has a survival rate between 12 to 21 months. 

      It’s important to note these statistics are based on the average lifespan of mesothelioma patients and includes averages for patients who didn’t receive treatment from a mesothelioma specialist. So, with the right treatment and situation, a patient could dramatically increase their life expectancy. 

      There are three important factors which can impact life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient: location, cell type and stage.


      Survival rates are best for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma (located in the abdomen), with those having surgery lasting an average of five years or more. Survival rates for patients with pleural mesothelioma (located in the lungs) averages 3 years for those who have surgery. And survival rates for pericardial mesothelioma (the heart), the most rare type, carries the poorest prognosis, with the median life span being 6 to 10 months.

      Cell Type

      The type of cells making up a patient’s mesothelioma determines how fast their disease will spread. Sarcomatoid cells, which are rare, typically spread the fastest. Epithelioid cells, which are most common, typically spread the slowest. Biphasic cells consist of sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells, which has a varying effect on a patient’s survival rate.


      Doctors use staging as a way of categorizing how advanced a patient’s mesothelioma is. The less advanced the mesothelioma, the better the life expectancy. Early stage mesothelioma has an average survival rate of around 21 months while late stage averages closer to 12 months. With surgery and the right treatment options, some patients can push their survival rates well beyond the averages.

      Learn the numbers behind survival rate estimates and find the best treatment options in your free Mesothelioma Care Package.

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      Mesothelioma Stage

      By staging your disease, doctors can describe how far the mesothelioma has spread from where it originated. The farther the disease has spread, the more advanced it is and the later the stage. The earlier the stage, the more effective treatment options are available and the greater the survival rate.

      For pleural mesothelioma, doctors use stages 1-4, with stage 4 being the most advanced. Peritoneal mesothelioma does not have an accepted staging system so doctors diagnose these patients as having either localized or advanced stage mesothelioma.

      According to the American Cancer Society, some mesothelioma survival rates based on stage are:

      Survival Rate by Stage
      • Patients with stage 1 or 2 pleural mesothelioma have an average survival rate of 19 to 21 months.
      • Patients with stage 3 or 4 pleural mesothelioma have an average survival rate of up to 16 months.
      • Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma who receive surgical treatment often have survival rate greater than 5 years.