Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, or membrane cells that surround the body’s internal organs and structures. Mesothelioma is known to be caused only by exposure to asbestos, a mineral used in industrial compounds. Mesothelioma symptoms will not appear for many years until after exposure to asbestos, meaning diagnosis is usually in advanced age patients. While mesothelioma is a rare cancer, it is an aggressive one and prognosis is typically poor.
Mesothelioma life expectancy is contingent upon a number of different factors including:
Age at Diagnosis
Given the latency period between exposure to asbestos and the onset of mesothelioma symptoms, patients are often diagnosed late in life. Those diagnosed at advanced age will typically have a lesser life expectancy than those diagnosed when younger. Much of this concerns the health of the patient and the hazards that treatments may pose to quality of the life and patient health.
Type of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma has three major types, which are named based on where the malignancy originates. The most common of these is pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the pleural lining of the lung. Other mesothelioma types include peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, which occur in the abdominal cavity and in the membrane surrounding the heart, respectively. Given the higher rate of incidence of pleural mesothelioma, much more is known about the specific behavior of the disease and how it is most effectively treated.
Those patients who are eligible for more aggressive cancer treatment are typically those who are healthiest and those who can anticipate a longer life expectancy. If a patient is eligible for surgery, life expectancy can be dramatically increased by resection of the disease and affected area. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also successfully manage the disease, but the success of these treatments depends entirely upon the patient’s ability to manage the uncomfortable symptoms which accompany these treatments.
Unfortunately there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, recent advancements in mesothelioma treatment have dramatically increased life expectancies in the past decade. For comprehensive information about mesothelioma treatments and life expectancy please fill out the form on this page and we’ll ship you a complimentary mesothelioma information packet detailing cancer centers, top doctors, and much more.
- American Cancer Society: Detailed Guide. What is Malignant Mesothelioma?. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_1X_What_is_malignant_mesothelioma_29.asp?rnav=cri
- Cancer Help, UK http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=4465
- American Cancer Society: "How is Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosed". http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_3X_How_is_malignant_mesothelioma_diagnosed_29.asp?rnav=cri
Last modified: December 28, 2010.