Rates of Mesothelioma Survival

After diagnosis, the survival rate for mesothelioma cancer is 4-18 months. Pleural mesothelioma has a five-year survival rate of almost 10%. This indicates that one in every ten patients with pleural mesothelioma lives for five years. With therapy, some individuals have survived for ten years or more.


What Is the Mesothelioma Survival Rate?

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have a four to 18-month average survival rate. However, it’s worth noting that some patients have lived for more than ten years. While the overall 5-year survival rate is 9.6%, peritoneal mesothelioma has a higher 5-year survival rate of 65%, demonstrating the possibility for long-term survival despite the difficult prognosis associated with this illness.

The proportion of patients living a particular number of years following diagnosis is referred to as the mesothelioma survival rate. Survival rates for mesothelioma vary based on stage, condition, and treatment choices.

Treatment improves survival rates for both pleural and peritoneal cancers. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy are the most effective mesothelioma therapies.

Every few years, the National Cancer Institute provides mesothelioma survival statistics. SEER stands for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.

Life expectancy varies from survival rate. Life expectancy is the average amount of time a person may anticipate to live based on their birth year, present age, gender, and other characteristics.

Patients with pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma have a one-year survival rate of 73% to 92%. Five-year survival rates for peritoneal patients are five times higher than for pleural patients. These figures came from a 2015 meta-study that looked over 20 years of data.

Survival rates for mesothelioma vary according to cell type, stage, patient age, and gender. According to research published in May 2022 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the yearly number of mesothelioma fatalities rose by 25%, from 489 in 1999 to 614 in 2020. Women’s age-adjusted mortality rate fell from 4.83 per 1 million in 1999 to 4.15 in 2020.


What Is the Purpose of Mesothelioma Survival Rates?

Doctors and researchers utilize mesothelioma cancer survival rates to generalize data to a specific population. This information predicts which treatments will be most beneficial for various patient demographics. Mesothelioma survival statistics cannot forecast each individual’s prognosis.

Survival rates might be difficult to understand and use at times. A 5-year survival rate for mesothelioma does not imply that researchers counted every patient. It is generally an estimate that includes both persons whose cancer never returned and those who are currently battling cancer. 

Recognizing Your Prognosis

The chance of good treatment results and the outlook for a patient’s health are referred to as prognosis. Survival rates and life expectancy give healthcare practitioners information regarding a patient’s prognosis.

A woman diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 65, for example, has a 5-year survival rate of 13.6%. Her doctor will decide if her prognosis is good or worse. Doctors base their decision on her cancer stage and overall life expectancy.    

Making a Treatment Plan

When a doctor selects the optimal mesothelioma therapy for a patient, the survival rate is one element of the jigsaw. Treatment statistics are important, as are data from years of study. 

Lung cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of 19%. individuals with stage 1 and 2 non-small cell lung cancer get surgery, whereas individuals with stage 3 have chemotherapy. These data assist assess if surgery or chemotherapy is a better option for each patient. 

Data on Individuals and Survival Rates

You may survive longer than the survival statistics predict, depending on the course of therapy you pick and your circumstances. Cancer survival rates do not account for current medical breakthroughs.

Statistics may provide comfort to some individuals while perplexing or scary to others. However, survival statistics only take into account persons who were diagnosed in the past. Those who are diagnosed today may have more therapeutic choices and a better prognosis.

Patients may choose to concentrate on their treatment plan and allow their doctor to deliver more customized information. Advances in therapy allow some individuals to live longer than typical.


Mesothelioma Survival Rates and Risk Factors

General health, tumor location, and mesothelioma cell type are all factors that influence a person’s survival rate. These factors influence how long a person lives after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Females and younger patients enjoy longer lives. Patients with peritoneal tumors, early-stage illness, epithelioid cells, and multimodal treatment all fall into this category.

Tumor Location

Survival rates for peritoneal mesothelioma are much higher than those for pleural disease. Only 9.6% of pleural patients live for five years or longer, compared to almost two-thirds of peritoneal mesothelioma patients (65%). 

Survival Rates of Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

1 year42.4%92%
3 years15.5%74%
5 years9.6%65%
10 years5.4%39%
National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, 2018

With HIPEC surgery, eligible patients with asbestos-related peritoneal cancer survive between 40 and 92 months.  


Women with mesothelioma tend to outlive males independent of age, disease stage, race, or therapy method. Men with pleural mesothelioma had a 5-year relative survival rate of 7.3%, while women have a rate of 16.4%. 

The majority of asbestos exposures occur at work. Industrial positions, which have historically been held by males, pose the greatest danger. This helps to explain why males account for the majority of instances.

Gender Differences in Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Source: National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, 2018

There are various probable explanations for why women outperform males. Some studies suggest that hormonal variations between sexes may account for greater survival.

Women are also more prone to develop peritoneal mesothelioma. This kind of mesothelioma has a better prognosis than pleural tumors, which are more frequent in males. This skews the survival statistics in favor of women, who live longer lives on average.


On average, older mesothelioma patients had poorer survival rates than younger individuals. Over 65% of individuals diagnosed before the age of 50 survive one year. More than 30% of patients aged 75 and above survive the same length of time.

Patients diagnosed before the age of 50 had a 30.8% probability of living for a decade. This lowers to 7.2% for people aged 50 to 64. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma between the ages of 65 and 74 had an 8.5% five-year survival rate. When persons are 75 or older, the incidence drops to 4.1%.

Mesothelioma Survival Rates by Age

Age Range1-Year Survival Rate
< 5065.6%
50 – 6454.9%
65 – 7444.7%
National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, 2018

Younger individuals are often in better health than older people. This indicates they are candidates for more aggressive and successful treatments.

Younger people are also less likely to have chronic diseases including lung disease, diabetes, or a family history of cancer. Enrollment in clinical trials is also made possible by improved overall health.

The Disease’s Stage

The mesothelioma stage upon diagnosis is a good predictor of overall survival. Stage 1 or stage 2 mesothelioma is considered early-stage or localized mesothelioma. These phases occur before cancer has progressed and have the highest likelihood of survival. Most pleural mesothelioma cases are not diagnosed until stage 3 or 4.

The SEER program categorizes cancer survival rates as localized, regional, or distant. This classification divides the four phases of pleural mesothelioma into three, with localized representing stage 1, regional generally approximating stages 2 and 3, and distant representing stage 4.

5-Year Relative Survival Rates for Mesothelioma Patients by Stage

National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, 2018

Patients with pleural mesothelioma who are diagnosed early have a better chance of survival. The median survival time for stage 1 pleural mesothelioma is 22.2 months and 20 months for stage 2 pleural mesothelioma. In stage 3, patients with late-stage pleural mesothelioma had a median survival of 17.9 months. In stage 4, the average survival time is 14.9 months. 

Early-stage patients who get quick therapy have a higher chance of survival. They are more likely to be candidates for surgery and other invasive therapies. More aggressive therapy has been linked to better results.

Type of Mesothelioma Cell

Patient survival is affected by the cell type of mesothelioma, often known as tumor histology. The predominant cell types in this malignancy include epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic.

The epithelioid cell type is the most abundant and also the least aggressive. It is the most responsive to therapy. Patients with this cell type had a 12- to 24-month median survival. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the most aggressive kind of mesothelioma. Patients with this diagnosis have a six to eight-month median survival.

5-Year Survival Rates for Mesothelioma by Cell Type


Biphasic tumors exhibit both epithelioid and sarcomatoid characteristics. Patients with mesothelioma who have more epithelial cells have a better prognosis. Life expectancy is reduced if the tumour is largely composed of sarcomatoid cells. Patients with biphasic cell cancer had a median survival time of around 13 months.

Genetics and General Health

Survival rates for mesothelioma patients with a history of smoking are lower than for nonsmokers. Other lifestyle variables, such as excessive alcohol use or a poor diet, may reduce survival chances. Genes and family history are also factors. White males account for more than 90% of mesothelioma cases, although black individuals had a roughly 7% greater 5-year survival rate.


How to Increase Mesothelioma Survivability

Long-term mesothelioma survivors often credit their survival to interdisciplinary treatment or clinical trials. Others claim that lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes, helped them after being diagnosed.

Patients should not base their quality of life only on mesothelioma survival rates. A 5-year survival rate does not account for how cancer symptoms may affect your quality of life.