Mesothelioma survival rates are steadily improving due to new treatments being developed. Survival rate statistics provide more information to patients about their prognosis.
Estimating Mesothelioma Survival Time
Underreported Factors Affecting Survival Rates
Current Survival Results
Survival rates don’t always reflect current data. Doctors examine the results of people treated in the past in order to provide patients with survival rates. These survival rates only offer a glimpse into the past, not the future.
New Treatment Options
Survival rates cannot account for new treatment options. In many cases these treatments were not available at the time the data was collected. Mesothelioma treatment options have been developing quickly through clinical trials in the past decade. Get connected to clinical trials for innovative treatments.
Survival rates can be misleading because they include patients who didn’t receive treatment or were treated by general oncologists rather than mesothelioma specialists.
Patients and families should remember that all statistics (including survival rates) have a degree of error. While mesothelioma survival rates tend to be low, overall survival rates are constantly improving due to innovative treatment options.
However, following the second year after diagnosis, survival rates for pleural patients drop considerably (11 percent), while survival rates for peritoneal patients only experienced a small decrease (35 percent).
This suggests it is equally hard to detect pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma early enough to effectively treat the disease. These numbers also show treatment for a peritoneal patient is more effective than treatment for a pleural patient.
Due to the rarity of pericardial mesothelioma, there are no conclusive studies to show survival rates for these patients. It is only known that the majority of patients (90 percent) with pericardial mesothelioma were diagnosed after death.
Mesothelioma is more often diagnosed in the later stages because of the lack of specific symptoms of mesothelioma. Survival rates at this stage are lower because the cancer is more advanced and more difficult to treat. However, there are numerous treatment options for patients at any stage. New, noninvasive treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, are frequently being developed and improved in ongoing clinical trials.
Cell Type & Histology
Survival Rate by Cell Type After Multimodal Therapy
Survival rate statistics for biphasic cell types aren’t consistent because the ratio of epithelioid cells to sarcomatoid cells varies with each patient. However, patients with biphasic mesothelioma who have a higher percentage of epithelioid cells usually live longer. This complies with the survival rates based on epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
Each cell type is unique, which is why patients should find a mesothelioma specialist to treat them. Mesothelioma specialists can offer specific expertise to their patients. Get connected to a specialist using our free Doctor Match program.
Age and Gender
Personal health plays a huge role in the life expectancy of all cancer patients. An older patient in good health may have a better life expectancy than a younger patient in poor health. Finding an experienced mesothelioma doctor is crucial to improving an older patient’s life expectancy.
Why Do Women Live Longer?
Gender is another factor that affects survival rates. The 5-year relative survival rate for women is more than double the rate for men. Recent data shows men have a 6.5 percent 5-year survival rate and women have a 15.4 percent rate. Routine health visits often lead to an earlier diagnosis and help account for a higher female survival rate. One study concluded that women visited the doctor nearly 20 percent more than men.
This data shows a significant difference in survival rates between men and women, but could be skewed based on occupational exposure. Men traditionally work jobs where factors related to mesothelioma, such as prolonged exposure to asbestos, are much higher than those seen by women.
Survival Rates After Surgical Treatment
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) – Pleural mesothelioma
- Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) – Pleural mesothelioma
- Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC – Peritoneal mesothelioma
Patients eligible for these surgeries are usually those who are in stage 1 or 2. However, late stage patients who apply for clinical trials may be eligible for surgical treatment.
Patients who have a combined treatment of surgery and other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, experienced marked improvements in survival. The common survival times after one of these surgeries is typically double the survival time of patients who didn’t have surgery.
Beat the Odds – Improve Your Survival Rate
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. All patients are unique, creating the possibility that these rates may not apply to them.
As such, survival rates are only a guideline and can be misinterpreted. Learn more about beating the odds in our free Mesothelioma Guide.