Often mesothelioma patients are faced with an intimidating prognosis, but a prognosis is just a prediction. Patients can take action to treat their disease and improve their condition.
What Is the Prognosis for Mesothelioma?
A prognosis is simply a doctor’s prediction of the course or outcome of a disease. A typical mesothelioma prognosis includes a life expectancy of a few months to a couple of years, mostly depending on the type of the disease and its stage. However, there are numerous survivors who have far outlived their prognosis. These survivors have taken advantage of aggressive treatments and clinical trials to conquer their disease. Factors that may influence a mesothelioma prognosis are the stage, type, location and treatment of the disease.
Improving Mesothelioma Prognosis
The average prognosis for a person with pleural mesothelioma is 11 to 20 months, according to a study published on the medical website UpToDate. However, patients treated with radical surgery can beat this prognosis by multiple years. In a study published on the Annals of Thoracic Surgery in 2016, around 50% of pleural mesothelioma patients who underwent extended pleurectomy with decortication lived for at least three years.
The prognosis for peritoneal mesothelioma has jumped up incredibly in the past decade. Patients treated with cytoreduction plus heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) often live for multiple years. Around 60% live for three years and nearly half live for five years, according to one study. When the disease is diagnosed during early stages, the prognosis significantly rises. In one study, around 87% of patients diagnosed at Stage 1 survived for five years.
Due to its rarity, the prognosis for pericardial mesothelioma is relatively poor. Patients may be able to outlive their prognosis by finding a specialist and seeking aggressive treatment.
Outlive Your Prognosis With Doctor Match
- We learn about your diagnosis and treatment history.
- We search through our network of top mesothelioma doctors who fit your needs.
- We connect you with the specialist most suited to treat your mesothelioma.
4 Important Ways to Improve Your Prognosis
Understanding what encompasses a mesothelioma prognosis can help patients make healthcare decisions that improve their life expectancy. The most important decision a patient can make is to take advantage of factors within their control.
Mesothelioma research has come a long way in the past decade, creating more treatment options than ever before. Surgery is the most curative treatment option available in prolonging a patient’s life, sometimes improving patients’ prognosis by years. Patients not eligible for surgery can take advantage of traditional cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, or gain access to exclusive treatments in clinical trials.
Choosing a specialist is one of the most important factors that influence mesothelioma prognosis. Mesothelioma specialists have years of experience treating mesothelioma and conducting research for new treatments. There are top specialists in several parts of the country who can improve your prognosis. Our Doctor Match program helps match mesothelioma patients to experienced specialists.
Improve Your Personal Health
A healthy immune system is able to manage treatments like chemotherapy and fight off diseases that could complicate recovery. The healthier a patient is when cancer strikes, the better the body will be able to defend itself. However, it’s never too late to begin healthy habits. Patients can actively improve and maintain their personal health through diet and exercise. Making healthy choices after a diagnosis can make a significant impact on the patient’s life expectancy.
Second opinions are extremely important after receiving a diagnosis. Survivor Alexis Kidd learned her mesothelioma wasn’t as advanced as she thought after getting a second opinion. Getting a second opinion can often mean gaining access to treatments that weren’t previously available. Some doctors may not offer certain treatments if they think the risks outweigh the benefits. However, some patients have received treatments that saved their life thanks to a second opinion.
Take Action to Improve Your Prognosis
Patients with mesothelioma have a limited amount of time to take meaningful action against their diagnosis. Since mesothelioma can spread quickly, patients should learn what treatment options are available to them. Only a mesothelioma specialist can provide patients with most beneficial treatment. Specialists are also an essential tool for those who haven’t had a second opinion. Get connected with a specialist using our free Doctor Match program and take control of your prognosis.
Factors Influencing Your Prognosis
Receiving a prognosis for mesothelioma is a difficult experience. Nobody is ready to hear how long they have left to live. However, a prognosis is just the first step and can change with available treatment options. A prognosis is determined by a series of factors described below. A prognosis is an educated guess, not a fact.
There are certain factors that are not under a patient’s control. These factors include:
- Type (pleural, peritoneal, pericardial)
- Histology (cell types)
- Latency period
- Metastasis (spread)
- Additional illnesses
The survival rate for mesothelioma has improved over the past decade as new treatment options have been refined. A survival rate is simply a percentage indicating how many patients survive over a certain amount of time.
Mesothelioma Survival Rates by Year
Survival statistics for more aggressive diseases and cancers are most commonly organized by five-year survival rates—the percentage of patients who survive five years or more. However, survival rates are also measured one, two and three year(s) after patients are diagnosed. Doctors use these statistics to compare the effectiveness of treatments over time.
Survival Rate by Year
Patient Survival Rate by Age
Early detection is the holy grail of the mesothelioma treatment community. One of the most difficult aspects of treating mesothelioma is that it is often diagnosed in later stages. Forty percent of patients that are diagnosed before the age of 45 live five years or longer. This is more than four times the average five-year diagnosis for mesothelioma.