Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the mesothelium, which is a thin tissue that lines the internal organs of our body. There are several types of the disease, and its variations are related to the place where it is located. The most common cases are the pleural. This is when the tumor is located in the pleura of the lungs, and the peritoneal, which is located in the organs of the lungs and abdominal region. The symptoms of this cancer also depend on its location.
It’s common for veterans to have been exposed to dangerous asbestos and suffer from mesothelioma. Prior to the 1980s especially, veterans had a higher chance of asbestos exposure, so veterans make up a lot of mesothelioma cases. Traveling to faraway locations such as the Middle East or Southeast Asia, veterans may have encountered asbestos in old buildings, at shipyards, in construction settings, or in a range of other areas.
Let’s take a look at the global mesothelioma survival rate. In general, mesothelioma develops very quickly, so the diagnosis is usually made when the disease is already in an advanced stage. This makes treatment difficult since it is more effective if there is an earlier diagnosis. Treatment consists of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or surgery.
Prognostic statistics for a certain type and stage of cancer are given as the survival rate. For example, the 5-year survival rate is equivalent to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer. A 5-year survival rate of 50%, that is, about 50 patients out of 100 have, on average, a 50% survival 5 years after diagnosis. It is worth mentioning that some of these patients live up to 5 years after diagnosis.
Survival rates are based on past results from large numbers of patients who have had the disease, making it impossible to predict what will happen to each individual patient. It has a series of limitations to take into account, such as:
- The survival rates reported below are the most current available. However, the 5-year survival rates were obtained from patients who were evaluated and treated at least 5 years ago. However, there have been improvements in treatment techniques, resulting in a prognosis that may be more favorable for patients currently diagnosed and treated for mesothelioma.
- The prognosis for patients with mesothelioma varies depending on the stage of the disease. In general, survival rates appear mainly in patients who have cancer at an early stage. Nevertheless, there are other factors that can interfere with a patient’s prognosis, such as the patient’s age and health, as well as the disease’s response to treatment.
These statistics are provided based on the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. Only the doctor, who is monitoring your case, can tell you how the numbers below may apply.
The figures reported below are drawn from thousands of patients around the world who had mesothelioma diagnoses between 2000 and 2013. These data are only for mesothelioma that started in the pleura (the most common place).
- The survival rate for stage IA is 46% in 2 years and 16% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IB is 41% in 2 years and 13% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage II is 38% in 2 years and 10% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IIIA is 30% in 2 years and 8% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IIIB is 26% in 2 years and 5% in 5 years.
- The survival rate for stage IV is 17% in 2 years and 1% in 5 years.
Talk to a Doctor
It is worth remembering that survival rates are only estimates and are not used to predict what may happen to an individual patient. Talk to your accompanying physician to better understand how the statistics can be applied to your specific case.