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Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Mesothelioma survival rates are very subjective, meaning that individual survival rates depend on the patient, extent of the disease, location of the disease and various other factors. However, researchers and physicians say the average survival times for mesothelioma patients are between four months and 18 months.

Medical professionals reach this average by looking at all mesothelioma patients and determining the most common survival times. In general, a survival rate is guess that has little to nothing to do with your treatment plan. There are many patients who live far beyond this guess.

Things that Influence My Survival Rate

When doctors look at mesothelioma, they use several contributing factors to determine the overall survival rates for patients:

  • Disease Stage -- First and foremost, the stage of mesothelioma can be a determining factor in a survival rate. If you have early stage I mesothelioma, you are more likely to recover than if you have later stage IV. With the earlier disease stage, your body will recover more quickly than it would if it was fighting a later-stage disease.
  • Disease Site -- Researchers have found that pleural mesothelioma, located in the lungs, is more treatable than pericardial (heart) or peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma. This means that more research goes into pleural mesothelioma and the chances for advanced treatments are greater.
  • Disease Cell Type -- Certain cell types -- called histology -- make it easier for doctors to treat mesothelioma. Epithelial cells that form tumors are easier to treat than sarcomatoid and combination cells.
  • Other Diseases -- Other serious diseases, such as heart disease, kidney problems or diabetes, can have a detrimental effect on the overall outcome of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
  • Patient Age -- Mesothelioma patients who are diagnosed at a younger age have a greater likelihood of recovering. While mesothelioma is not curable, younger patients are more likely to live a long and satisfying life with the disease. The average age range of those who die from mesothelioma is 75 to 85.
  • Patient Gender -- Researchers are still trying to determine why women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma generally have a better life expectancy than men with the same disease at the same age.
  • Patient Race -- Overall, white men developing mesothelioma more frequently than other races and genders.

What Should I Know About My Survival Rate?

Even if you never wanted to know what your mesothelioma survival rate is, it could be an important component to understanding and fighting your disease. The more you know about the disease process, the better you can fight it.

You and your doctor can use survival rates in a variety of ways. For you, this will allow you to better understand your prognosis. For your doctor, it will help develop a strong treatment plan. However, survival rates cannot tell you which treatments are best for your disease and how the latest treatment will help. Only your doctor will know that information.

Remember, survival rates are generalities about the population of mesothelioma patients and say nothing about the results of your disease.


American Cancer Society. “Survival Rates for Mesothelioma.” Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. “Cancer survival rate: What it means for your prognosis.” Retrieved from