Mesothelioma Survival Rates

In recent times I have been seeing a lot of coverage on mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. So I did some research to understand the disease, its cause and treatment. In this post I will talk about all that and on mesothelioma survival rates based on different studies.

What is Mesothelioma ?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. It develops from the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body (mesothelium). In the United States, asbestos is considered the major cause of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma causes pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) which causes shortness of breath, fatigue and cough. Others symptoms are unexplained weight loss and chest wall pain. (1)

Whom does it affect?

Mesothelioma mostly affects people who have worked in mines where the probability of inhaling or injesting asbestos fiber is very high. It also affects people who wash clothes of people exposed to asbestos.


Currently there is no known cure for mesothelioma. However treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Below I present statistics on mesothelioma survival rates as per various resources.

Mesothelioma is a very serious disease which has a long latency period. By the time it is diagnosed it may already be too late as the disease is often in an advanced stage. It is very hard to treat.

Please note that survival rates depend on a number of factors like cancer type, stage, age, gender and race. Every case is different, however that being said the prognosis is usually grim. On a positive note, scientists are working hard to come up with effective ways to tackle this disease. Overall survival raes have been steadily improving due to new innvoations in treatment options. The statistics presented below are for mostly for US patients. (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)

1. Survival Rates for Mesothelioma as per

  • Relative 5-year survival rate for mesothelioma is between 5% and 10%.  (7)
  • Median Survival times of patients with pleural mesothelioma who were treated with surgery between 1995 and 2009
    • Stage 1 – 21 months
    • Stage 2 – 19 months
    • Stage 3 – 16 months
    • Stage 4 – 12 months

2. Mesothelioma Survival Rates after diagnosis as per

  • 40% live upto 1 year.
  • 20% live upto 2 year.
  • 8% live upto 3 year (3)

3. As per

Mesothelioma life expectancy after diagnosis is between 8 to 14 months. The relative five-year survival rate for mesothelioma 10 percent. (4)

4. Mesothelioma Survival Rates after diagnosis as per

  • 1 year survival rate for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients is 40%.
  • 2 year survival rates for pleural patients is 11%.
  • 2 year survival rates for peritoneal patients are 35%.
  • At age 65 or older, survival rates of mesothelioma patients are 5 times better at stage 1 than at stage 4.
  • 5-year survival rate of men is 6.5 percent while for women it is 15.4 percent rate. (5)

5. Survival Rates for Mesothelioma as per

  • An average patient lives between 4 and 11 months after diagnosis.
  • 40% of patients live longer than 1 year and about 10% survive more than 5 years. (6)

Mesothelioma is a terrible disease with a grim prognosis. However research and innovation has lead to a tremendous improvement in treatment options in recent times and mesothelioma survival rates have increased over the last 40 years.

Here is what has to say:
Many patients have a survival time different than survival rates initially indicate, sometimes regardless of the treatment received. With this in mind, patients should take survival rate statistics with a grain of salt and not be discouraged.

There are documented cases of people who have beaten the odds and survived and lived for 10 years (4). One should not lose hope.

Web References (as retrieved on 29-Oct-2015)


That’s it. Hope you found this informative. If you can think of any additional statistics on Mesothelioma Survival Rates, please share them via your comments for the benefit of the readers.

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Thank you for reading this article on Mesothelioma Survival Rates. I hope you found it informative. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.

Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay

I am an independent Management Consultant. In my previous corporate career, I have worked in Banking, Private Equity and Software industry. I like doing equity research and financial analysis in my free time. I also enjoy reading and writing on history and current affairs related matters.

2 thoughts on “Mesothelioma Survival Rates

  • November 1, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Now I understand why asbestos was prohibited by the Philippine government as a construction material. Due to its fire resistant properties, asbestos are usually used in ceilings and walls of buildings and houses.

  • August 13, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Now I understand why asbestos was prohibited by the indian government as a construction material.


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