Upon diagnosis, most mesothelioma patients are told that they have a life expectancy of eight to twelve months. One reason why they have such a short life expectancy is that the disease is usually in its advanced stages when diagnosed. In addition, the life expectancy is short because mesothelioma is extremely aggressive and has no cure.

Factors Effecting Life Expectancy

Every mesothelioma case is unique and no statistic dictates how long a particular mesothelioma patient will survive. Generally, mesothelioma patients’ life expectancy is dependent upon many factors including:

  • The stage of mesothelioma
  • The size of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor can be removed completely by surgery
  • The amount of fluid in the chest or abdomen
  • The patient’s age and general health, including lung and heart health
  • The type of mesothelioma cancer cells and how they look under a microscope
  • Whether the mesothelioma has just been diagnosed or has come back

Life Expectancy by Stage

Mesothelioma patients’ life expectancy is greatly affected by the stage the cancer is in. Although life expectancy varies form case to case, catching mesothelioma in its early stages can mean the difference between living many more years (or even being cured completely) and dying in a few months. The following statistics estimate the life expectancy at diagnosis for each mesothelioma stage:

  • Stage 1: If treated aggressively, 50% will live at least 5 years
  • Stage 2: Average life expectancy: 2-4 years
  • Stage 3: Average life expectancy: 6-8 months
  • Stage 4: Average life expectancy: less than 6 months

Mesothelioma Treatment Specialists & Life Expectancy 

Cancer treatment centers that specialize in treating mesothelioma often have better survival rates than general mesothelioma statistics report. For example, the five year mesothelioma survival rate is approaching 40% at Brigham and Women’s Center in Boston. However, this particular mesothelioma treatment program only accepts patients with early-stage mesothelioma. As a result, these statistics do not necessarily contradict the general mesothelioma life-expectancy statistics.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with asbestos related mesothelioma, our experienced attorneys can explain your legal rights and options.

Published November 17, 2011 by